The Flipkart logo outside one of their offices. Photo: Reuters
The Flipkart logo outside one of their offices. Photo: Reuters

With US retail giant Walmart reportedly close to getting a majority stake in Flipkart, changes to the top-level management at India’s largest online marketplace are expected.

If the takeover negotiations are successful, Flipkart founder and executive chairman Sachin Bansal may step down, the Economic Times has reported.

However, Walmart reportedly wants Group CEO Binny Bansal and Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy to stay on, to help keep day-to-day operations running, the daily said.

The US retail giant is alleged to be investing close to $12 billion to pick up a 60-80% stake in Flipkart, sources have said.

Flipkart buys back shares

Meanwhile, in a move seen as a precursor to Walmart acquiring a majority stake in Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce player has bought back shares worth US$350 million from investors in its Singapore-based parent to regain “private limited” status in the small Southeast Asian state.

Flipkart bought 1,895,574 redeemable preference shares and 174,319 non-redeemable preference shares from investors for $350.5 million, according to documents the Bengaluru-based company filed with the Singapore authorities and sourced by business intelligence platform The transaction was done on April 27, Business Standard reported.

Among the investors who sold their shares in this exercise were Shekhar Kirani, Deep Nishar and IDG Ventures. Several pension funds sold out of Flipkart in the buyback. However other large investors — SoftBank, Tiger Global, Naspers, Microsoft, eBay, and Accel — did not participate.