Despite Snapdeal Buy Flop, Son Vows to Stay Engaged with Flipkart
New Delhi: SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said that the Tokyo-headquartered conglomerate remains “engaged” with Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce company, with the comments coming a week after the acquisition of its portfolio company Snapdeal the firm was orchestrating collapsed.
Son also said that he “respected the decision of Snapdeal founders” to move forward as a standalone entity. Last week, Snapdeal announced that it had terminated all acquisition discussions, an announcement that was first reported by ET in its edition dated July 31.
SoftBank has been widely tipped to invest between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in Flipkart. As part of an understanding between SoftBank, Flipkart and Tiger Global — Flipkart’s largest stakeholder — post the acquisition of Snapdeal, the Japanese investor was expected to pump in primary and secondary capital that would not only enable Flipkart to keep rival Amazon India at bay, but also derisk Tiger Global’s significant exposure to the company.
Sources close to SoftBank had told ET that the SoftBank would now “go back to the drawing board” regarding its proposed investment in Flipkart, following the failure of the negotiations between the Bengaluru-headquartered online retailer and Snapdeal, in which it owns about 33%.
The proposed investment in Flipkart is expected to be made by SoftBank’s mega, $100 billion technologyfocused Vision Fund, the largest pool of private capital ever assembled.
However, sources have told ET that the investment committee of the Vision Fund was expected to discuss the anticipated investment only later this month. While SoftBank is expected to hold on to its stake in Snapdeal for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely to invest further capital in the Gurgaon-based online marketplace, in which it has already pumped in about $900
Masayoshi Son, founder, SoftBank