Sachin Bansal, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Flipkart is set to sell his entire 5.5% stake of his company to American brick-and-mortar giant Walmart as the acquisition of India’s largest tech company seems imminent. Three people close to the company reported the news which was subsequently shared on various platform.
Indeed, Sachin Bansal might be living his last days at the company he co-founder and grew to reach the homes of almost every Indian as Walmart prepares its $12-15 billion bid to acquire the e-commerce business valued to be worth $20 billion. The 5.5% stake he stills owns in the company will be sold for a reported $1 billion, making him an instant billionaire.
Sources close to the company suggested that Sachin was “not aligned with the strategy and operating structure that was being proposed post Walmart coming on board.” In the 4th May edition of TOI, it was reported that Sachin was most likely to exit the company after the Walmart acquisition as the retail mammoth from Arkansas will become the majority shareholder of Flipkart with a reported 70% stakes acquired through primary and secondary share purchases.
Another source close to the Flipkart-Walmart discussions said, “Binny Bansal will stay on as the group CEO and will be additionally appointed as the new executive chairman of the Bengaluru-based e-tailer.” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart’s CEO and ex-Tiger Global executive – who is widely credited for bringing the e-commerce platform to the level it is at – will also stay in the company but will not have a seat on the board of the company. Softbank and Naspers who respectively own 23.6% and 13% of the company are expected to sell out their current stakes in the e-commerce company as well as most of the 50 investors holding shares in the Indian e-tailer. Only Tiger Global and Tencent are reported to keep a seat in the company’s board.
Sachin Bansal, 36, co-founded Flipkart with his friend Binny Bansal as a platform selling books in 2007. From there, the company grew at a very rapid pace and expanded its retailing business across several categories to include clothes, accessories, mobile phones, housing electronics, etc…. Sachin first served as CEO of the company for nine years before taking the role of chairman in 2016, therefore transferring the Chief Executive post to Binny Bansal. Since that day, Sachin Bansal spent less and less time at the company’s headquarters as he focused primarily in launching a private label called ‘Billion’ and building an artificial intelligence unit for the online retailer.