Walmart Inc. has hired Goldman Sachs to explore an initial share sale of its Flipkart unit in the US to raise around $10 billion, two people directly aware of the development said.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart is planning to sell around 25% in India’s largest online retailer, the people said, requesting anonymity.
“Work on the IPO (initial public offering) is on in full swing and the advent of the pandemic has only hastened the process, given the spectacular surge in demand on e-commerce platforms,” said one of the two people cited above.
Online transactions in India have surged after the coronavirus outbreak as people largely stayed indoors and avoided crowded markets and department stores.
The pandemic has pushed millions of new customers from small towns and cities to switch to online platforms, boosting valuations of e-commerce companies. Flipkart, which is based in Bengaluru and registered in Singapore, competes with Amazon.com Inc.’s India unit and Reliance Industries Ltd, which is ramping up its JioMart e-commerce business to challenge its rivals in the online space.
If Flipkart’s IPO plans are successful, it will be the largest by a company based in India on overseas exchanges.