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Tata buying majority stake in BigBasket for $1.2 bn, China’s Alibaba to exit

Tata buying majority stake in BigBasket

The Tata Group is in the final stages of acquiring a majority stake of over 60 to 63 per cent in online grocery brand BigBasket, for about Rs 9,300-9,500 crore (around $1.2 billion), according to sources familiar with the development. The deal values BigBasket at Rs 13,500 crore (around $1.85 billion).

The deal, which is expected to close in the next four to five weeks, will provide an exit to China tech giant Alibaba, the Abraaj Group and IFC. The companies are reported to be awaiting approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Bengaluru-based BigBasket competes with Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart and Amazon's "Fresh" service as more consumers stay at home and choose to shop online during the pandemic. Hari Menon-led BigBasket had stormed into the unicorn club (companies with valuation of at least $1 billion) less than two years ago.

The acquisition of BigBasket fits the Tata Group’s expansion plans for the online business. Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has recently talked about the group’s ambitions to have a super app. This transaction would allow the conglomerate access to a large customer base.

The Tata Group has been planning to launch a "super app" that will tie in all its consumer businesses, according to media reports, as it competes against Amazon.com Inc and Reliance Industries Ltd in India's fast-growing e-commerce market.