Walmart may eventually take Flipkart public.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the retailer said minority shareholders holding 60 percent of the Indian e-commerce company’s stock, “acting together, may require Flipkart to effect an initial public offering following the fourth anniversary of closing of the transactions at a valuation no less than that paid by Walmart.”
As reported, Walmart Stores Inc. last week said it will invest $16 billion to buy a 77 percent stake in India’s largest e-commerce company, which is valued at $20.8 billion.
It is expected that Flipkart’s chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue in that position, while one of the founders, Sachin Bansal, will leave the company.
But Bansal is expected to remain on the board of directors. According to the filing, the Flipkart board will initially have eight directors: five appointed by Walmart, two by the minority shareholders and Bansal.
“For at least two years following closing of the transactions, two of the Walmart-appointed directors must be unaffiliated with Walmart,” the filing said. The board may be increased to nine members at any time, it detailed, with Walmart appointing the representative who also must be unaffiliated with the retailer.
The filing also said Walmart may “appoint or replace the chief executive officer and other principal executives of the Flipkart group of companies, subject to certain consultation rights of the board and the founder.”
It also said Walmart can seek to issue up to $3 billion in shares of Flipkart “on or before the first anniversary of the closing.”
In the fiscal year ended March 31, Flipkart recorded GMV of $7.5 billion and net sales of $4.6 billion, representing more than 50 percent year-over-year growth in both cases. With the investment, Flipkart will gain Walmart’s omnichannel retail expertise, grocery and general merchandise supply chain knowledge and financial strength, while Flipkart will bring talent, technology, customer insights and agile and innovative culture to the combination.
The deal, which is seen as Walmart’s latest volley to take on Amazon, is awaiting approval from India’s anti-trust regulators but is expected to close later this year.