India Digest: Walmart inches ahead on Flipkart deal; Eurofins eyes Medall

FILE PHOTO: The logo of India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen on the facade of the company's headquarters in Bengaluru, India July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo

US retail giant Walmart has secured the approval of key shareholders of Flipkart to sell their stakes while Belgian lifesciences company Eurofins is keen to pick up a controlling stake in Peepul Capital-backed diagnostics chain Medall Healthcare.

Walmart gets key shareholders’ nod for Flipkart stake

Some of the key stakeholders of Indian e-commerce major Flipkart have agreed to sell their stakes in the company to Walmart, easing the way for the US retail giant to pick up majority stake.

According to a source-based report in The Economic Times, Japanese investor SoftBank, which is the largest shareholder with 20 per cent stake, is still looking for a better price estimated at $15-17 billion, through a secondary sale of shares.

In August last year, SoftBank had invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart through its $100-billion Vision Fund.

On the other hand, Walmart has reached an agreement on buying the stakes of New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management, South African media conglomerate Naspers, venture capital firm Accel and China’s Tencent Holdings. Along with Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who may also sell their stake, these six shareholders together own over 55 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based company.

“Discussions with Soft-Bank are still ongoing… Most of the others have come aboard. In a deal like this, there are always ebbs and flows, but there is a time factor to consider as well,” said one of the sources cited in the report.

Belgium-based Eurofins eyes controlling stake in Medall Health

Belgian life sciences company Eurofins is keen to pick up a controlling stake in Peepul Capital-backed diagnostics chain Medall Healthcare, said a Times of India report quoting sources.

Chennai-based Medall Healthcare is a chain of medical diagnostic service providers. Formerly known as Precision Diagnostics, the chain was acquired in 2009 by Raju Venkataraman, who re-branded it as Medall Healthcare, which now operates over 60 centres across south India.

Peepul Capital, which owns nearly 80 per cent in Medall, has been seeking buyers for its stake and appointed investment bank Moelis for a sale.

It was earlier also reported that Peepul Capital founder Sandeep Reddy wanted to pick up stake in the diagnostic chain, and was also in talks with KKR to partner him for the same.

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