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Walmart To Acquire 15-20% Stake In Flipkart: Report

World's biggest retailer Walmart Stores Inc is in advanced talks to acquire a significant stake of as much as 15-20% in leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart, reported Economic Times citing two people aware of the development.

The deal, which will be finalized by March, may involve primary and secondary sales by some longstanding investors.

The ET report further stated that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon led a delegation that visited Flipkart's Bengaluru office early last week as part of this plausible acquisition deal.

Notably, for last 5 years, Walmart is on e-commerce acquisition spree buying 15 startups including Jet.com, which it had bought for $3 billion, in September 2017.

The deal, if happens, will allow Flipkart to gain significant cash amount to compete with Amazon, which recently infused ₹1500 crore in its India operations. Walmart too will gain from this deal it will give an edge against Amazon to offer its customers choice of buying online as well as its brick and mortar stores. Notably, Amazon, last year, had bought Whole Foods, a 400-store retail chain in a similar omni-channel strategy.

Walmart on other hand, besides India, has also partnered with a Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten. As part of the deal, Walmart will start selling Aura-branded e-readers made by Kobo, a division of Rakuten, in stores and online at Walmart.com. Kobo is one of the Amazon Kindle's competitors.

If Flipkart-Walmart deal goes through then this will give Flipkart an access to Jet.com's pricing mechanism to help take on Amazon, said the ET report. Jet.com, with its ability to lower prices as customers add more items to shopping carts, could help Walmart and Flipkart reach more customers. It is to be noted that after the Jet.com acquisition, Walmart's online sales registered growth of more than 50%.

Notably, Flipkart had also launched grocery delivery app in Bengaluru, in November 2017. While Amazon India is reportedly to start selling local foods from March this year.

In August 2017, Flipkart went global when it decided to make the products on its platform available to shoppers in as many as 200 countries all around the globe through its partnership with global ecommerce biggie eBay.

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