New Delhi: Amazon.com Inc. is in late-stage talks to acquire as much as 10 per cent of India’s Future Retail Ltd., people familiar with the negotiations said, as the US company moves to bolster its brick-and-mortar presence in one of the world’s fastest-growing retail markets.
India’s No. 2 retailer by turnover, Future is seeking a valuation of about Rs20 billion (Dh1.02 billion) from Amazon for the stake, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. The sale is likely to be routed through a holding company, they said, and will give Amazon the option to buy more shares from Kishore Biyani, Future Retail’s founder and chairman.
The deal with the Mumbai-based company, which operates its flagship “Big Bazaar” grocery store chain, will give Amazon more exposure to the business after it bought Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion in 2017 and secured a foothold in the US food retailing segment. The proposed investment in Future Retail offers some parallels, enabling Amazon to tap into India’s rising demand for household products and home-delivered fresh produce and vegetables.
Discussions are yet to be finalised, and the deal could still falter or be delayed. Representatives for parent company Future Group and Amazon in India said they don’t comment on market speculation.