NEW DELHI: Battle for India's online grocery market is set to get intense as Tata Sons has acquired majority stake in online grocery seller BigBasket. This puts the Indian business giant in direct race with e-commerce players Amazon.com, Walmart's Flipkart and Reliance Industries. The deal comes as e-commerce sales, especially of food and groceries, have witnessed a huge jump due to a big shift to online shopping triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the key details about the deal:
* BigBasket Board has reportedly approved Tata Group's purchase of majority stake in the online grocery company. Founded in 2011, BigBasket operates in 25 Indian cities.
* The stake has been bought by Tata Digital Limited (TDL), a unit of Tata Sons.
* Under the deal, TDL will purchase up to 64.3% of the total share capital of Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd (SGS) as well as SGS sole control over Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt Ltd. SGS is into B2B (business-to-business) sales through bigbasket.com
* Chinese giant Alibaba is the key investor in the e-tailer with around 30% stake. The deal involves TDL buying out Alibaba's stake. Tata Digital's acquisition came after Indian government tightened regulations for Chinese investment in Indian businesses in 2020. This restricted Alibaba from upping its stake. The other big investor in BigBasket is Actis with around 17% stake.
* In March this year, India's antitrust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved the acquisition of up to a 64.3% stake in BigBasket by Tata Digital. Deals beyond a certain percentage of stake require approval from CCI.
* According to media reports, the deal is valued at Rs 9500 crore ($1.31 billion).
* Key players in India's online grocery market are: Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers and Reliance Industries' JioMart.