According to sources, Walmart-owned Indian eCommerce company Flipkart is looking to go public in the US through a merger with a blank-check company as it seeks to quicken its listing process.
The online retailer has been considering a US initial public offering (IPO) and it’s now also looking at other options, the people said. Flipkart’s advisers have approached several SPACs, said one of the people. A SPAC or special purpose acquisition company is a shell corporation listed on a stock exchange with the purpose of acquiring a private company, thus making it public without going through the traditional IPO process.
Flipkart could seek a valuation of at least $35 billion in a blank-check transaction. Discussions are at an early stage and Flipkart could still explore other options, the people said.
The eCommerce firm is joining other Indian firms like online grocer Grofers in exploring a US listing through SPAC deals. ReNew Power, a solar and wind energy company, agreed to merge with a US-listed special purpose acquisition company last week in a deal that will give India’s biggest renewable power producer an enterprise value of $8 billion.
Merging with SPACs will allow Walmart to take its India unit to market at a faster pace than the usual IPO route. As many as 10 Indian companies could go public through SPAC deals before the end of the year, experts say.
Flipkart, which is battling with eCommerce arch-rival US-based Amazon and Mukesh Ambani’s retail venture for market share in India, started operations in 2007 and now sells 80 million products on its platforms. Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart in a $16 billion deal in 2018.