Amazon is reportedly planning to acquire Aditya Birla Group’s food and grocery supermarket chain More along with Goldman Sachs and Samara Capital, a private equity fund. According to reports, More is valued at Rs 4,500-5,000 crore for the deal. The food and grocery business is expected to give a further push to Amazon’s business, which is competing with Walmart after it bought out home-grown retailer Flipkart for $16 billion. The official announcement is expected by the end of this month.
Samara and Aditya Birla Retail Ltd reportedly signed an exclusivity agreement in June for negotiations between the two companies.
Samara later roped in Goldman Sachs and Amazon to join the company. The three companies plan to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Amazon having a 49 per cent stake as the “strategic partner”.
Foreign companies can hold up to 49 per cent in multi-brand retailers. Cash-and-carry retail firms, however, are allowed to have 100 per cent overseas ownership.
More is the fourth-largest retailer in India. Amazon has been planning since long to have a fully-owned food retailing company in India. But the project suffered due to lack of clarity even after it received an approval to invest $500 million in a company that was into selling the produce locally.