February 16, 2018 / 8:12 AM / 3 months ago

EXCLUSIVE-Walmart in talks to buy more than 40 pct of India's Flipkart -sources

MUMBAI, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Walmart Inc is in talks to purchase a stake of more than 40 percent in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, a direct challenge to Amazon.com Inc in Asia’s third-largest economy, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

In what would be one of its biggest overseas deals, the U.S. retailer is looking at buying new and existing shares in Flipkart and due diligence is likely to begin as early as next week, the sources said. They declined to be named as the talks were private.

Terms under discussion were not immediately available, but Flipkart would be valued at more than the $12 billion figure given when Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund took roughly a fifth of the firm last year for $2.5 billion, they added.

Existing investors in Flipkart also include U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, online marketplace eBay Inc and software giant Microsoft Corp.

A spokesman for Flipkart said the company does not comment on rumours or speculation. An India-based representative for Walmart declined to comment. (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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