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Done deal? Softbank gets Nexus’ nod for selling Snapdeal to Flipkart

Japan’s SoftBank has secured the crucial nod from co-investor Nexus Venture Partners (NVP) for sale of Snapdeal to India’s largest e-commerce firm, Flipkart, sources said.

SoftBank — the largest shareholder in Snapdeal — had secured a go-ahead from the founders and Kalaari last month. However, NVP was not in agreement over the valuation suggested by the Japanese firm and hectic parleys were held in the last few weeks to resolve the impasse.

According to people familiar with the matter, SoftBank Group has now reached an agreement with NVP to move ahead with the sale plan.

They said the term sheet with Flipkart could be signed within this week and the due diligence for the deal would commence immediately thereafter.

Sources said Snapdeal founders would get about USD 25 million each, while NVP could get close to USD 100 million and stake in the merged/new entity. Kalaari could get about USD 70-80 million.

 

Emails sent to Snapdeal, SoftBank, NVP, and Kalaari did not elicit any response.

Snapdeal was valued at USD 6.5 billion in its last funding round in February 2016. The valuation, however, has shrunk since then and the potential deal could see Snapdeal being valued at about USD 1 billion, said market watchers.

SoftBank yesterday said it suffered a loss of USD 1 billion (Rs 6,500 crore) on its investment in Snapdeal during 2016-17, almost matching the money it put in the home-grown marketplace.

As per regulatory filings, SoftBank currently owns over 30 percent in Snapdeal, while Nexus has roughly a 10 percent stake and Kalaari holds 8 percent share in the firm.

The deal between Snapdeal and Flipkart, if completed, would mark the biggest acquisition in the Indian e-commerce space and change the landscape of the sector that is witnessing intense competition among players.

 

Indian e-commerce companies have seen funding dry up for the last few months as investors are focusing extensively on profitability and rationalization of expenses.

With intense competition from deep-pocketed global rivals like Amazon, companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal could face more heat in the coming days.

There have been reports that Snapdeal’s mobile wallet service Freecharge could be sold separately with players like Paytm and MobiKwik being in the fray.

Also Read: The Golden Rule for Pitching Your Startup or Product

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