India: Future Retail’s shares surge as regulator approves deal with Amazon

Future Retail's Big Bazaar trolley carts. Photo: Reuters

Shares in Future Retail Ltd surged 13% on Friday, after India’s antitrust body approved a deal that would give Amazon.com Inc a minority stake in one of the country’s top retail groups.

Future Retail in August announced the deal that would result in the U.S. online retail giant acquiring a 3.58% stake in the company, which runs over 1,500 stores in India and owns budget department store chain Big Bazaar.

The companies had not disclosed the value of the deal, which would help Amazon push deeper into India’s booming retail market.

In a brief statement on Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it had approved Amazon‘s purchase of a 49% stake in Future Coupons Ltd, an entity that owns about 7.3% of Future Retail, adding that it would soon provide a detailed order.

Reuters reported early this month that the CCI had sought more information from Amazon about the planned transaction.

Last year, Amazon and Indian private equity firm Samara Capital announced a joint investment in an entity that would give Amazon a stake in local supermarket chain More.

The Seattle-headquartered firm also owns a stake in Indian department store chain Shopper’s Stop.

Shares in Future Retail were higher by 13.8% by 10 a.m. in Mumbai. Shares in other Future Group companies – Future Enterprises Ltd, Future Consumer Ltd and Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd – were higher by 2% to 16%.

The Economic Times reported in August that the deal pegged Future Retail’s value at close to $6 billion, more than double its then market capitalization of $2.9 billion.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.