September 19, 2018 / 12:33 PM / in a month

Amazon, Samara buy India's 'More' retail chain for $580 million: CNBC TV18

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Indian private equity firm Samara Capital have bought Aditya Birla Group-owned ‘More’ retail chain for an enterprise value of 42 billion rupees ($580.35 million), CNBC TV18 reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

An employee of Amazon walks through a turnstile gate inside an Amazon Fulfillment Centre (BLR7) on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India, September 18, 2018. REUTERS/ Abhishek N. Chinnappa

Amazon’s latest acquisition adds more heat to the U.S. e-commerce giant’s battle with Walmart Inc (WMT.N) in the Indian market, after Walmart acquired Indian firm Flipkart for $16 billion earlier this year.

Samara will buy 51 percent, while Amazon will have the rest, CNBC TV18 reported.

Pranab Barua, who heads the retail and apparel vertical of the Aditya Birla Group, is likely to head the operations of the entity, the report added.

Aditya Birla Group confirmed the development to Reuters, but did not elaborate further.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Gautam Gode, the managing director of Samara Capital, said the firm does not comment on its investments.

($1 = 72.3700 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Sharnya G and Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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