Walmart Inc WMT.N is in talks with Tata Group [TATAS.UL] for a potential investment of up to $25 billion in the Indian salt-to-software conglomerate's new "super app", the Mint newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to ongoing discussions between the two companies, the super app could be launched as a joint venture between Tata and Walmart, leveraging on the synergies between Tata's e-commerce business and Flipkart, Walmart's e-commerce unit, according to the report.
The news comes as Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS, controlled by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, raised over $20 billion from investors including Facebook FB.O, Alphabet's GOOGL.O Google, KKR & Co KKR.N and Silver Lake Partners by selling stakes in its digital business Jio Platforms.
Separately, Bloomberg News reported Tata Group is in discussions with potential investors about stakes in its new digital platform.
The Walmart investment could touch $20 billion to $25 billion eventually for a large stake in the proposed super app that will be hosted under a Tata Sons unit, according to the Mint report.
The super app, which is scheduled to be launched in India in December or January, will bring together Tata’s consumer business under one channel offering a wide range of products in the retail space, Mint said.
Tata’s consumer businesses include watch and jewellery brand Titan and fashion retail chain Trent.
Shares of Tata Consultancy Services TCS.NS, Tata Motors TAMO.NS and Tata Steel TISC.NS gained more than 1% each, with TCS the top boost to the Nifty 50 index.
If the Walmart deal goes through, it will top its investment in Flipkart, for which the U.S.-based company paid $16 billion for a 66% stake.
Mint said Walmart had hired Goldman Sachs as the banker for the proposed deal. Tata Group, Walmart and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
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