Report: Walmart’s Flipkart To Go Public

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India’s Flipkart Group, the eCommerce firm owned largely by Walmart Inc., is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) as early as next year, Reuters reported.

Sources told the news service the Bengaluru-based online retailer will aim for a valuation of between $45 billion and $50 billion. If the company gets a valuation in that range, Walmart would have more than doubled its investment.

In 2018, Walmart announced its intention to acquire a 77 percent stake in Flipkart for $16 billion. It’s the single largest foreign direct investment in India.

Flipkart competes in a crowded arena against the likes of Amazon’s India division and Reliance Industries.

Two sources told Reuters Flipkart is likely to choose between the U.S. and Singapore for its IPO.

“Flipkart is incorporated in Singapore, but listing in the United States, where parent Walmart is headquartered, could give it access to a deeper pool of funds,” one of the sources told the news service.

Flipkart and Walmart did not respond to requests for comment.

Reuters reported sources said work is underway to meet compliance, legal and finance functions that will meet regulatory standards.

“Right now, the IPO target is more or less considered to be late 2021, or early 2022, but the current crisis has made things a little blurry,” the source told the news outlet.

News of the possible IPO comes one day after Reuters reported Flipkart plans to hire 70,000 new employees and indirectly employ many more in needed delivery work as it gears up for a big boost in online shopping around Diwali, the religious holiday.

Flipkart’s biggest sales numbers for the year are part of its “Big Billion Days,” based on Amazon’s Prime Day, the news outlet said. The idea is to run up sales in the festive shopping season. The four- or five-day long sale leads up to Diwali.

Flipkart said it plans to sign up more than 50,000 small grocery stores, to get its goods to customers needing last-mile delivery.

“While creating direct job opportunities across Flipkart’s supply chain, that include delivery executives, pickers, packers and sorters, there will also be additional indirect jobs created at Flipkart’s seller partner locations and [local corner stores],” the company told Reuters.

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