Walmart Inc'sFlipkart will buy a 7.8 percent stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd for ₹ 1,500 crores ($204 million), the fashion retail company said, on Friday (October 23, 2020).
The investment comes at a time when Amazon.com Inc, Reliance Industries-led billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and Flipkart are in a race to capture market share in India's fast-growing food and grocery online market. With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping most people indoors, Indians are turning to online platforms for all purchases from bread to phones to clothes.
Media reports said both Amazon and Flipkart were in the race to select a stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, which owns and runs the retail chain of Pantaloons and owns the right to sell merchandise in India for Forever 21. Aditya Birla said that as it scales up its companies, it will use the capital to boost its balance sheet. Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail shares increased by 6.5 percent to 163.45 Rs., their highest since March 30, 2020.