INDIA – Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba has got approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for investing in Indian online grocery platform, BigBasket. The move comes within a month of Alibaba seeking CCI’s nod for the same.
According to a CCI notice, Alibaba Singapore – a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding – had proposed the acquisition and purchase of shares of Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGS), the company that runs BigBasket.
The notice, however, did not spell out the details of the investment, including the quantum of stake and the financial value of the deal.
Now, with CCI giving Alibaba the go ahead, the company is all set to transfer funds to SGS.
The deal will be announced soon and in all likelihood will raise BigBasket’s valuation to $850 million.
As per a report in Inc42, the transaction is expected to involve a primary investment of about $220 million while $80 million will be used to acquire shares from existing investors.
Earlier this year, there were reports citing sources that Alibaba along with Paytm Mall (which has Alibaba has an investor) were in discussions with BigBasket to pick up a minority stake for about US $200 million.
Investing in BigBasket would help Alibaba add more muscle to take on US–based rival Amazon, while for Paytm, the move would further strengthen its play in the Indian e–commerce space.
BigBasket has operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Patna, Kolkata, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Indore, Punjab and Lucknow.
The company has raised over US $200 million from investors including Abraaj Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Growthstory, Helion Venture Partners, IFC and Sands Capital.
According to a report by Franchise India, the online grocery market is expected to be Rs 2.7 billion market by 2018–19.