Indian e-commerce player Flipkart has sweetened its buyout offer for smaller rival Snapdeal to between $900 million and $950 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said, adding that the new proposal is being evaluated by Snapdeal’s board. Reuters previously reported that Snapdeal had earlier this month rejected Flipkart’s initial bid of between $800 million and $850 million as its board was unsatisfied with the offer and the payment terms.
Flipkart’s revised offer was made for Snapdeal’s marketplace and its e-commerce solutions provider Unicommerce but does not include its logistics arm Vulcan Express and digital payments unit FreeCharge, which may be sold separately, said the sources, who did not want to be named as the discussions are not public. One of the sources said Flipkart may hold back about $150 million of the deal price for 12-24 months after the consummation of a deal.
Infibeam, a listed e-commerce player, has also made an offer for Snapdeal, the sources said, adding that the Snapdeal board is likely to consider the proposal. Details of the Infibeam offer were not immediately available.
Flipkart, Snapdeal and its main backers were not immediately reachable for comment. Infibeam was not immediately available for comment, but has said media reports linking it with Snapdeal are speculative.
Japan’s SoftBank Group, Snapdeal’s biggest shareholder, is keen to fold the firm into Flipkart and back the biggest home-grown e-commerce provider as it battles Amazon.com for a bigger share of India’s booming online retail market. But Snapdeal’s founders would also like the Infibeam proposal to be evaluated before any final decision, one of the sources said. Snapdeal is expected to make a decision on the two offers in a week or 10 days, the second source said.
Axis Bank, India’s third-biggest private sector lender, top digital payments firm Paytm and a few others are in talks to acquire FreeCharge, one of the sources said. Axis Bank did not respond to requests for comment while Paytm was not immediately available for comment.