The CEO of Japan’s SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, reportedly confirmed on his company’s quarterly conference call that Walmart sealed the deal to buy India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart last night, reports Bloomberg. And Son would know as SoftBank, through its Vision Fund, invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart. The deal will reportedly value Flipkart at somewhere between $18 billion to $20 billion and is expected to be officially announced later today. Flipkart is India’s largest online retailer and its purchase by Walmart is an attempt by the company to stave off Amazon getting the primary foothold in the planet’s second-most populous nation.
Update: Walmart has now confirmed that is has bought a significant stake in Flipkart. In a press release this morning, Walmart said it will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77% in Flipkart. Announcing the news Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said:
“India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate, and our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading transformation of eCommerce in the market. As a company, we are transforming globally to meet and exceed the needs of customers and we look forward to working with Flipkart to grow in this critical market. We are also excited to be doing this with Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft, which will be key strategic and technology partners. We are confident this group will provide Flipkart with enhanced strategic and competitive advantage. Our investment will benefit India providing quality, affordable goods for customers, while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs.”