Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Hogan Lovells' Tech Team Takes Lead on Walmart's $16 Billion Flipkart Buy

Not an easy path Not an easy path
Lindsey Cook | 11 May, 2018, 02:05

"We expect to open five stores in the current year and eventually start opening 12-15 stores a year", Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer said.

Businessmen directly related with Flipkart feel the deal will help the company to grow rapidly in a highly competitive Indian e-commerce market with generating more business for them.

A few months later, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, a senior executive from Flipkart's largest investor, Tiger Global, who was interim CFO at the e-commerce giant in 2013-14, came back as head of category design.

The story thus far includes a narrative of offline versus online, and the pressure that the offline retailers have felt due to the billions of dollars that the online commerce businesses, Flipkart et.al, found at their disposal nearly entirely because deep-pocketed foreign investors backed them - from New York's Tiger Global Management to Japan's Softbank Group Corp.

However, a deal done on paper is still subject to regulatory approvals. "This will further eliminate small and medium businesses, small shops, and opportunity to create more jobs", the organisation said.

Foreign retailers, including Walmart, have faced years of political resistance to opening outlets in India, where mom-and-pop store owners wield enormous influence.

Flipkart had net sales of $4.6 billion in its latest fiscal year.

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The acquisition of the majority stake makes the $500-billion Walmart the largest shareholder of the Bengluru-based Flipkart group and will help accelerate its ambition to transform e-commerce through digital technology.

Hence, the move will aide Walmart in building an entire ecosystem around online commerce business, in this country and Walmart won't just be restricted to "marketplaces". J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as the lead financial advisor for Walmart, along with Barclays, with Hogan Lovells, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as outside counsel to Walmart. "He urged Flipkart team to continue with the momentum, Sachin said, ".But I'll be watching and cheering from the outside?

Soon after the deal was announced yesterday, RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch alleged that Walmart was "circumventing" rules for a "back-door entry" into India and sought Prime Minister's intervention to safeguard "national interest".

While Walmart and Flipkart will leverage the combined strengths of both companies, they will maintain distinct brands and operating structures. That was the second largest deal in the consumer internet space in India, behind Flipkart's acquisition of fashion e-tailer Myntra in 2014.

I am confident that this is one of the best decisions our company has made - we believe in India, have seen growth in India in every way.

Flipkart's stock option offerings last for a period of over four years, and employees are allowed to sell these off after a one-year lock-in period. "Since the deal has a greater ramification on India's retail trade, a closer scrutiny is certainly warranted" said CAIT in a statement said.

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