Walmart Inc. is in discussions to spend about $7 billion to become the largest investor in India’s leading e-commerce company, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that would put the U.S. retailer in competition with Amazon.com Inc. in one of the most promising online retail markets.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant plans to buy about a third of Flipkart Online Services Pvt, in part by purchasing stakes from Tiger Global Management and SoftBank Group Corp., said the people, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The deal may push the valuation of the homegrown startup to about $20 billion, the people said, up from about $12 billion last year. The talks are at a critical stage and may wrap up this month. It’s also possible specifics such as the valuation or stake size may still change, and the deal may not come to fruition.