Fair trade regulator CCI Friday said it has approved a deal wherein Samara Capital-backed Witzig Advisory Services and Amazon will acquire Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, which operates supermarket store chain ‘more’. According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the deal involves acquisition of 99.99 per cent of the equity share capital of Aditya Birla Retail by Witzig and 49 per cent stake buy in Witzig by Amazon’s subsidiary Amazon NV Investment Holdings LLC. This also marks the US-based e-commerce major Amazon’s second investment in the Indian brick and mortar format after it had picked up stake in the K Raheja group’s retail arm Shopper Stop.
Witzig is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samara Alternative Investment Fund which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) as category II Alternative fund. The CCI “approves acquisition of 99.99 per cent of the equity share capital of Aditya Birla Retail limited (ABRL) by Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited”, the regulator said in a tweet.
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In another tweet, the fair trade watchdog said it “approves acquisition of 49 per cent equity share capital of Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited by Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC”. In a notice to regulator, Amazon said post acquiring 49 per cent in Witzig, the remaining 51 per cent of Witzig will be controlled and majority owned by Samara fund.
Last year, Witzig had announced plans to acquire Aditya Birla Retail and as per the reports, the deal is valued at Rs 4,200 crore. In September 2018, US online retail giant Amazon and Samara Capital had jointly invested in Witzig Advisory. Moreover, the e-commerce giant is in advance stage talks to acquire 9.5 per cent stake in Future Retail.