Walmart prepares for $10bn Flipkart IPO early next year

The retailing giant has reportedly picked up the leading global investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs to raise nearly $10 billion via an initial share sale of its unit.

According to informed sources, Walmart is planning to sell at least 25 per cent in Flipkart which is likely to go public as early as next year at a valuation of $45 billion-$50 billion.

Walmart acquired Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018 at a valuation of $21 billion.

“An IPO has always been part of Flipkart’s long-term strategy. However, the focus at present is on growth and democratising commerce in India through technology, while continuing to unlock customer value,” a Flipkart spokesperson said when contacted on Monday.

In the three months ended in October, Flipkart drove international net sales for its parent Walmart and the “strong growth in net sales at Flipkart was helped by a record number of monthly active customers”.

The festive online sales in India beat industry estimates to clock $8.3 billion (nearly Rs 61,253 crore) in the October 15-November 15 period — an impressive growth of 65 per cent (year on-year), according to homegrown consulting firm Redseer.

Flipkart Group emerged as the leader during the whole festive month with 66 per cent share of the total sale. The festive season for this year saw 88 per cent customer growth from last year which was driven by about 40 million shoppers from tier 2 and above cities.

In its Q3 2021 quarterly results announced last month, Walmart International net sales were $29.6 billion, an increase of 1.3 per cent.

“Changes in currency rates negatively affected net sales by approximately $1.1 billion. Excluding currency, net sales would have been $30.6 billion, an increase of 5.0% led by Flipkart, Canada and Walmex. Strong growth in net sales at Flipkart was helped by a record number of monthly active customers,” the company had said in a statement.

According to C Douglas McMillon, President, CEO and Director, Walmart, in India, Flipkart and had strong results for the quarter.

“The number of monthly active customers for these platforms is at an all-time high,” he told the analysts during the earnings call last month.

Flipkart last week announced a partial spin-off of digital payments platform PhonePe in a bid to help it access dedicated, long-term capital to fund its growth ambitions over the next three to four years.

Flipkart said that PhonePe is raising $700 million in primary capital at a post-money valuation of $5.5 billion from existing Flipkart investors led by Walmart.

The e-commerce marketplace will remain PhonePe’s majority shareholder.