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Flipkart sets aside $400 million for share buyback ahead of Walmart deal

Flipkart group, including fashion portals Myntra and Jabong, have a combined market share of over 39.1 per cent while Amazon has 31.1 per cent share in the Indian online retail market, according to a recent report by Forrester Research, the ET report said.

The news underscores how Amazon is focussed on winning India's fledgling e-commerce market, and the offer could be a ploy to block Walmart from bringing its expertise in logistics and supply chain management to Flipkart, people familiar with the matter said.

Amazon's bid is likely to be on par with Walmart's bid for the Indian e-commerce company. Amazon, on the other hand, hasn't made the same promises and even intends to have Flipkart's founders sign a non-compete agreement.

Reports say Walmart was ready to pay up to $12 billion to acquire more than a 55 per cent stake in the e-tailer and has been in talks with Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.

- Amazon told Reuters it does not comment on rumours and speculation.

Flipkart and SoftBank declined to comment on the report.

CNBC-TV18, the Indian affiliate of business news channel CNBC, was first to report on Amazon's offer. The likelihood of a $12 billion deal with Walmart has increased after a recent approach towards Walmart's global CEO by Softbank, amajor investor in Flipkart.

The sharp fall in the share price of InterGlobe Aviation, the company that operates IndiGo, has come under the regulatory scanner.

Investors expect faster returns from Walmart's investments compared to Amazon, said Yarbrough, a move that limits the brick-and-mortar retailer's ability to spend big on acquisitions in growth markets.

SoftBank, the current largest shareholder, is reportedly interested in investing $4 billion more if a merger with Amazon goes through, the Times of India reported.

Discussions between India's largest e-commerce firm and Walmart have entered the final stage.

Walmart has been expanding its online offerings and is looking to gain a presence in India.

Sources said while Walmart is still in talks to buy shares from Flipkart and its investors, the deal will include the purchase of primary and secondary shares.

Walmart's shares were 0.84 percent down at $86.67 during afternoon United States trading.



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