Amazon in talks to buy  8% stake in Future Retail

New Delhi: Online retailer Amazon is said to be in advance talks to acquire 7-8 per cent stake in Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail and the deal could be worth over Rs 2,000 crore, according to sources. Amazon, which is looking to expand its presence in India, already has stake in Shoppers Stop and More.

The sources said Amazon and Future Retail have been in talks for few months now and a decision is likely to be made in the next 3-4 weeks. The deal could be worth well over Rs 2,000 crore, they added. When contacted, Future Retail and Amazon refused to comment.
If the deal is through, this would be the third investment by the US-based company in the Indian brick-and-mortar retail ecosystem.

Last year, retail major Shoppers Stop had announced raising Rs 179.26 crore from Amazon through an issue of equity shares on preferential basis. The deal with Amazon.com Investment Holdings LLC translated into just over 5 per cent shareholding for Amazon in Shoppers Stop. In September this year, Amazon said it has co-invested in Witzig Advisory Services, the entity that is acquiring Aditya Birla Retail’s ‘more’ chain of stores in India.

According to the market watchers, this deal is expected to help Amazon strengthen its play in the Indian retail market that is still dominated by the offline retailers. The move would also intensify competition further between Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart that are locked in an intense battle for leadership in the Indian e-commerce market. The US’ largest retailer Walmart had picked up 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for USD 16 billion, the largest deal in the Indian e-commerce space so far. Both Amazon and Flipkart are pumping in millions of dollars towards building infrastructure, and expanding operations in the country.

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