Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flipkart Makes New Snapdeal Buyout Offer to $950M

Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce company, revised its buyout offer for rival Snapdeal for about $950 million, two weeks after its initial offer of between $800 million and $850 million was rejected as the Snapdeal’s board was not satisfied with the offer and the payment terms.
The Bengaluru-based company has offered to pay the said amount for buying Snapdeal’s online marketplace and Unicommerce, according to people who have knowledge about the matter. In 2015, Snapdeal had acquired Unicommerce, an e-commerce management software and fulfillment solution provider.

According to people familiar with the matter, Snapdeal’s board members run by Jasper Infotech discussed the proposal on a conference call late last night. The final price of the current bid will range between $900 million, roughly Rs. 5,791 crores, and $950 million, roughly Rs. 6,113 crores, depending on the cash and debt on Snapdeal’s balance sheet at the time of signing.

However, Flipkart’s revised offer does not include Snapdeal’s logistics arm Vulcan Express and digital payments unit FreeCharge, which Snapdeal is also negotiating separate deals for them and they are likely to be closed in the coming weeks.

In case the Snapdeal board accepts the new offer from Flipkart, the two parties will negotiate a sale and purchase agreement or SPA.

The Flipkart-Snapdeal blend is aimed at building a stronger homegrown competitor to Amazon.com Inc., which has been gaining ground in India as it invests what it says will be $5 billion in the market. Japan’s Softbank Group Corp., which backs Snapdeal, and the New York’s Tiger Global Management, a Flipkart investor, have advocated for the merger, which has been under discussion for months.

Meanwhile,there have been reports that Infibeam, the country’s first listed e-commerce player, has also made an offer for Snapdeal, according to a source, adding that the Snapdeal board is likely to consider the proposal. Infibeam, which went public in April 2016, has a market value of about $960 million. A deal with Infibeam is less likely compared to Flipkart and Infibeam has termed it “purely speculative.”

However, Snapdeal’s founders would also like the Infibeam proposal to be evaluated before any final decision, one of the sources said. Snapdeal is expected to make decisions on the two offers in a week or 10 days, another source said.

The deal between Snapdeal and Flipkart, if completed, would mark the biggest acquisition in the Indian e-commerce space. One of the leading contenders in the Indian e-tailing segment, Snapdeal has seen its fortunes deteriorating amid strong competition from Amazon and Flipkart.

Snapdeal’s valuations have also plummeted from about $6.5 billion in February 2016. Softbank and Snapdeal’s other backers have already agreed to reduce the valuation to about $1 billion.

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