People familiar with the matter said that the Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, which is controlled by Wal-Mart, will begin its initial public offering as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

People familiar with the matter said that the US retail giant has established an internal IPO team for Flipkart, and is inclined to conduct a traditional initial public offering in the United States, and asked not to be named because the details are not disclosed. A person familiar with the matter said that Flipkart had tried to go public through a blank check company to speed up the listing process, but this route has not yet been considered. The company’s valuation at the time of listing may be as high as 35 billion U.S. dollars (about 260.11 billion rupees).

Wal-Mart shares rose 1.1% in New York trading on Tuesday to $140.92 (approximately 10,500 rupees), and then fell back to unchanged.

People familiar with the matter said that Saroj Panigrahi, a former JPMorgan Chase lawyer hired by Flipkart in December, is pushing the IPO process. They added that JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are in discussions with the company on the proposal for the transaction, and they are the officially elected front-runners.

IPO discussions are still ongoing and may change. A person familiar with the matter said that Flipkart may eventually choose regions outside the United States.

E-commerce has become the clear winner of the coronavirus pandemic, and the surge in global demand has prompted investors to bet on the future of the business. South Korea’s Coupang publicly issued shares in the United States in March, and investors quickly pushed its valuation to more than US$75 billion (approximately Rs 5,57,390 crore).

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Amazon’s stock price, which competes with India’s Flipkart, soared by more than 75% last year. Now, its market value is more than 1.6 trillion US dollars (approximately 1,189,219.10 billion rupees).

Neha Singh, co-founder and CEO of Tracxn Technologies, a private market intelligence researcher, said: “Flipkart’s IPO will be an exciting large-scale public offering and a very important milestone for the Indian startup ecosystem.”

In India, there will be a large number of startups flocking to the open market this year and next year, and at least 10 products are lining up. These include Policybazaar, an online insurance aggregator in India, and Zomato, a leading food delivery platform.

Flipkart was founded in 2007 and was acquired by Walmart 11 years later. This is the largest acquisition ever made by a US retailer. Today, Flipkart includes fashion retailers Myntra and Flipkart Wholesale, which is a digital market for small and medium enterprises. It has more than 300 million registered users and more than 150 million products in more than 80 categories.

The initial skepticism about Wal-Mart’s acquisition was reflected in the decline in the stock price. The American giant has been working hard to make a profit in e-commerce, and investors worry that the company is paying a high price for its loss-making business away from its headquarters.

Flipkart’s successful debut in the stock market may eliminate any worrying concerns.

Singh said: “Through the initial public offering, all doubts will be calmed down, and Wal-Mart will develop in an all-round way.”

The law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. will represent Flipkart in India.

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©2021 Bloomberg (Bloomberg LP)


What is the best phone under Rs. Now there are 15,000 in India? We discussed it on the gadget 360 podcast Orbital. Later (from 27:54), we talked with Neil Pagedar and Pooja Shetty, the creators of OK Computer. Orbital is available for Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and wherever you get podcasts.