As the deal between Flipkart and Walmart inches closer, the growing e-commerce market of India saw $2.1 billion worth of merger and acquisition transactions in the year 2017. According to Grant Thornton, the global audit and advisory firm, 21 deals worth $2,112 million were witnessed in 2017 compared to 18 deals worth $2,224 million being signed in 2016. Though a decline has been registered in 2017, higher numbers are expected in 2018 on the back of possible Flipkart and Walmart deal. Also Read - SoftBank Undecided on Leaving Flipkart; Will Take a Call in Next 7 to Ten Days

According to Statistics, six transactions amounting to $226 million were registered during the period between January-April 2018. Also Read - Flipkart And Walmart Deal: Sachin Bansal Says Good-Bye to Flipkart in Emotional Facebook Post

Vidhya Shankar, Executive Director, Grant Thornton India, said, “The Indian e-commerce market is here to stay and grow. The frequency of purchases will increase.” Shankar added, “India is a long-term play and it is therefore important to get a foothold in the online segment.” Also Read - Flipkart And Walmart Deal is The World’s Biggest Deal. Which Are The Other 5 Major E-commerce Acquisitions Ever

According to reports, Flipkart Board has approved the deal with Walmart and is about to pick 75 percent stake in the company at a value of $15 billion.  The deal is expected to be announced soon in the coming days.

The partnership will help Walmart to get a stronghold in the Indian market for taking on its rival-company Amazon. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, Indian e-commerce market is stated to grow to $200 billion by 2026

 Amazon also made a counter-offer to Flipkart for buying a majority stake in the company but according to reports it was not considered as the combined entity could have attracted competition issues.

Flipkart and Amazon are the two big players in the India e-commerce market where Flipkart holds around 40 percent of the market share beating Amazon by a close margin. Amazon in order to grow its business announced last year to invest $ 5 billion in India. Flipkart has also been aggressively planning to beat Amazon in the expansion race. Last year Flipkart was in discussions for taking over Snapdeal but the deal couldn’t happen as Snapdeal decided to chart its own course.

With inputs from PTI