Walmart, after acquiring Flipkart in a record $16Bn deal, is planning to cash in on the acquisition pretty quick. Flipkart is hence planning an IPO in 2022 in the U.S. According to an ET report this might mark exit of Walmart from the Indian e-commerce company.
Walmart acquired the e-commerce company last year for $16 billion. The company owns 77% stakes in Flipkart. The reason for Walmart’s exit is supposed to be the international sales drop of 4.9% it faced in the February-April quarter due to the inclusion of Flipkart. Flipkart experienced a loss of ₹11.6 billion in March 2018. Due to this Walmart was also considering to use its cash reserve to fund Flipkart’s operations.
However, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon had said, “I continue to be excited about the opportunity with Flipkart and PhonePe. I’m impressed with the team and their ability to innovate for customers with speed.”
The ET report also said that Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has formally informed his top lieutenants about the IPO timeline. The company plans to achieve profitability before it goes public and Krishnamurthy emphasized the need to tighten compliance in a discussion with the company’s senior vice presidents.
The Indian e-commerce rules were revised in February this year. The implementation of new foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations might pose tighter guidelines for international companies. According to the new rules, global companies are barred from selling products from vendors they own a stake in. This exempts Indian e-commerce giants like Reliance Retail which could threaten Walmart’s market share as well as other global players.
The US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the company for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) which include violating anti-corruption regulations while conducting its business in India, China, Brazil and Mexico. The company will be paying $282 million as part of the settlement deal with the U.S. regulatory bodies.
As a consequence of this, Walmart started a investigation into Flipkart over corruption charges. The investigation reports that Flipkart warehouses don’t have necessary permits and some centers are said to have used corrupt means to gain the permit. Even so, these allegations have been denied by Flipkart.