Snapdeal re­jects Flip­kart takeover of­fer to fight alone in In­dia

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Ban­ga­lore, In­dia - Snapdeal re­jected an ac­qui­si­tion bid from ri­val Flip­kart On­line Ser­vices Pvt, say­ing it will com­pete alone in In­dia’s ecom­merce mar­ket.

Snapdeal, which said it will sell off some non-core as­sets, is set to post a gross profit this month, the startup said in an emailed state­ment on Mon­day.

SoftBank Group Corp, which has al­most a third of Snapdeal shares, and Tiger Global Man­age­ment, which holds a sub­stan­tial stake in Flip­kart, had been push­ing the two com­peti­tors to merge so they can cre­ate a stronger lo­cal com­pany to fend off Ama­zon.com Inc. SoftBank aban­doned the ef­fort af­ter try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate the deal, said peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied.

‘We re­spect the de­ci­sion to pur­sue an in­de­pen­dent strat­egy’, SoftBank said in a state­ment. ‘We look for­ward to the re­sults of the Snapdeal 2.0 strat­egy, and to re­main­ing in­vested in the vi­brant In­dian ecom­merce space’.

Flip­kart had of­fered about US$950mn, but Snapdeal co­founders Ku­nal Bahl and Ro­hit Bansal, as well as other board mem­bers, had been at odds on how to pro­ceed, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the dis­cus­sions said last week. Snapdeal and Flip­kart have a his­tory of an­i­mos­ity born from years of com­pet­ing as the two largest lo­cal play­ers in In­dia’s ex­pand­ing ecom­merce mar­ket. Jasper In­fotech Pvt owns the Snapdeal brand.

‘Snapdeal has been ex­plor­ing strate­gic op­tions over the last sev­eral months’, the com­pany said. ‘The com­pany has now de­cided to pur­sue an in­de­pen­dent path and is ter­mi­nat­ing all strate­gic dis­cus­sions as a re­sult’.

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