Walmart to buy 77% stake in India's Flipkart for $16bn

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South African internet and entertainment firm Naspers, which had invested Dollars 616 million in Flipkart in August 2012, sold its entire 11.18 percent stake in the company to Walmart for USD 2.2 billion. Walmart India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc and offers close to 5,000 items through its cash-and-carry wholesale format.

Monumental. That's how Accel Partners described portfolio company Flipkart's $16 billion acquisition by USA retail giant Walmart Inc.

As far as the law is concerned, except for Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal's stakes, the majority of the shares sold to Walmart belong to non-resident shareholders.

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Meanwhile, Walmart's foray into India's online retail space made industry expects say the deal would make India an attractive destination for global majors to invest in the e-tail segment. While the first phase was dominated by hyper-competition, extreme growth and the battle for gaining market share at any cost, it also led to a lot of players betting on wrong business models. The move will see a boost in funds for the Indian e-tailer which will work under Walmart to accelerate the U.S. retailers Indian business. Walmart now operates 21 Best Price cash-and-carry stores and a fulfillment center in 19 cities across nine states in India, which will continue to be led by Krish Iyler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart India. This would completely destroy India's retail trade that employs more than four crore people directly. With the span of time, Flipkart did lose its reputation in the market but Amazon has managed to maintain the same level throughout, in fact now it has become wider and bigger in terms of a customer network. Now the story changes though, from an Indian and American firm fighting it out, to India being the new battleground for the Walmart vs Amazon contest.

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, which has served as outside counsel to Flipkart since 2011, including advising the company past year on a $2.5 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.'s Vision Fund, is serving as lead M&A and worldwide counsel to the company on its proposed sale to Walmart.

"Walmart is using the e-commerce route to circumvent the rules to attack Indian market".

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Doug McMillon, Walmart's president and CEO said, "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".

But with one founder exiting, Flipkart won't ever be the same again.

It said it is common knowledge that Walmart sources its products from global markets. "While eCommerce is still a relatively small part of retail in India, we see great potential to grow".

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In this case, apart from domestic income tax laws, articles from a number of income tax treaties signed by India with the US, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, and a comprehensive agreement with China will also be invoked.

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