Retail behemoth Walmart has completed its majority stake acquisition in Indian e-commerce retail giant Flipkart Group, in a move that will allow it to support local supply chains.

The investment means Walmart now holds about 77% of Flipkart, a stake that was said to total about US$16bn when news of the deal first broke in May. The rest of the business is owned by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft Corp. Moving forward, Flipkart’s financials will be reported as part of Walmart’s International business segment.

Walmart’s investment includes US$2bn of new equity funding to help accelerate the growth of the Flipkart business. Both companies will retain their unique brands and operating structures in India, and Flipkart’s existing management team will continue to lead the business.

“Walmart and Flipkart will achieve more together than each of us could accomplish separately to contribute to the economic growth of India, creating a strong local business powered by Walmart,” says Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International. “Our investment will benefit India by providing quality, affordable goods for customers while creating new skilled jobs and opportunities for suppliers.”

India is a country with more than 1.3bn people, strong GDP growth, a growing middle class and significant runway for smartphone, internet and e-commerce penetration. It is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies.

Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s co-founder and group chief executive officer, adds: “By combining Walmart’s omni-channel retail expertise, supply-chain knowledge and financial strength with Flipkart’s talent, technology, and local insights, we are confident that together we can drive the next wave of retail in India.” 

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