Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group’s holding company Tata Sons is reportedly planning to acquire a majority stake in Alibaba-backed online grocery seller BigBasket.
If the deal is approved, it will put Tata, a more than 150-year-old group with interests in everything from luxury cars to software, in direct competition with Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart, and an upstart grocery service from Reliance Industries, backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, as per the reports.
In the filing with the Competition Commission of India, Tata Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, has proposed to buy 64.3 percent of a company that runs business-to-business sales for BigBasket.
According to news reports, the group intends to buy out Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba’s stake in BigBasket and gain ownership of more than 60 percent of the firm.
The proposal comes as eCommerce sales in India, especially for food and groceries, have exploded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted a move to online shopping. Rivals of BigBasket are expected to invest heavily in the e-grocery market.
Flipkart has revealed its plans to reach more Indian cities, while Reliance’s digital arm, which is likely to support its grocery service, has raised more than $20 billion in funding from investors including Facebook and Alphabet’s Google.
Tata Sons Private Limited is the holding company of Tata Group and holds the bulk of shareholding in the Tata group of companies including their landholdings across India, tea estates, and steel plants. Headquartered in Mumbai, It is a privately held conglomerate of approximately 100 companies that operate in a variety of industries, including chemicals, consumer goods, oil, manufacturing, information technology, materials, and services.