Open to IPO for Flipkart but without a specific schedule: Walmart

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Open to IPO for Flipkart but without a specific schedule: Walmart


NEW DELHI: US retail giant Walmart has said it is “open to an initial public offering” for its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart but “there is no specific timeline” for the sale of shares.
Both Flipkart and the PhonePe payment app continue to perform well, said Walmart International President and CEO Judith McKenna while speaking at the DB Access Global Consumer Conference on June 7.
“We always made it clear from the day we made the acquisition or investment that we would be open for an IPO,” McKenna said.
However, he noted that there is no specific timeline for the IPO.
“But if we build a strong business and continue to do the things that we need to do to ensure that long-term, sustainable growth, that’s a possible route that we would consider going forward, but there certainly isn’t a specific timeline on that (IPO),” He said.
Walmart Inc owns a majority stake in Flipkart. It had invested $ 16 billion in 2018 in the Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform to get 77 percent of the shares. In July of last year, he led a $ 1.2 billion round on Flipkart, valuing the e-commerce firm at $ 24.9 billion.
According to sources, SoftBank Group is in talks with Flipkart to inject around $ 500-600 million into the Walmart-owned e-retailer.
The transaction, which may also involve the Singapore sovereign wealth fund. GIC and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, could value Flipkart at $ 30-32 billion, they added.
Flipkart is also said to be working on launching its initial public offering (IPO) next year.
McKenna further said that both Flipkart and PhonePe are doing well.
“I am very happy with what they have done since we acquired them. We have said it clearly several times,” she added.
E-commerce has seen strong growth in India amid the pandemic as containment measures introduced millions of people to the convenience of online shopping and led experienced online shoppers to buy more.
Social distancing compulsions, the massive smartphone base, and reliable broadband have galvanized the adoption of e-commerce beyond metropolitan areas, into smaller cities and towns.
E-commerce companies are increasing their capabilities and hiring to meet growing order volumes.
McKenna also noted that after Covid, there is an increase in overall digital penetration in India.
Speaking of PhonePe, McKenna said that the payment platform just crossed the 300 million user mark in a five-year period.
“So they (PhonePe) are getting into new areas of financial services, be it gold … insurance, mutual funds and different areas, which are strengthening for profit and loss … So confident and happy with the progress that they are doing business, “she said.

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