Amidst the raging controversy over the exit of co-founder Binny Bansal from Flipkart, Walmart has quietly gone ahead and increased its stake in Flipkart to 81.3 percent from 77 percent, which it had acquired for USD 16 billion in May.
The other equity holders in Flipkart are: Tencent 5.37 percent, Tiger Global 4.77 percent, Binny Bansal 4.2 percent, Microsoft 1.53 percent, Accel 1.38 percent, Iconiq Capital 0.98 percent, Temasek 0.29 percent and UBS 0.19 percent, as per data sourced from data intelligence platform.
In May, Walmart had said that it is acquiring a 77 percent stake in Flipkart for USD 16 billion. This included an equity infusion of USD 2 billion into the e-commerce venture. A good part of the total equity infusion might have resulted in an increase in its stake by 4.3 percent.
Post Walmart primary, as per estimates, SoftBank Vision had a 19.08 percent stake, Tiger Global 18.83 percent, Nasper 11.78 percent, eBay 5.61 percent, Tencent 5.41 percent, Accel 5.31 percent, Sachin Bansal 5.10 percent and Binny Bansal 4.82 percent.
Walmart had earlier said that it was in talks with other investors to buy into Flipkart and one of the main investors that it had pursued was Google. But with the increase in its stake to over 80 percent, it remains to be seen whether Google and a few others would be keen to pick up stake in the Indian e-commerce company and whether the rest of the investors would want to sell their shares.
Walmart said it is in talks to bring new investors into Flipkart. One person familiar with the matter said that Flipkart is in discussions with Google, Intel and existing investor Microsoft to raise more capital. The valuation of Flipkart might also have gone up since May when it was valued at USD 20 billion because of the huge success of its festival season sales which concluded recently.
As per the filings, Binny Bansal has been named as the sole founder of Flipkart now that Sachin Bansal has exited the company completely. Binny Bansal can remain a director as long he satisfies the ‘minimum ownership threshold’. He can remain a director on the board till he owns at least 3,532,977 ordinary shares in the company. Walmart can replace him with an independent director in case the stake falls below the ownership threshold limit. — The Hindu Business Line