Tata Group to buy majority stake in BigBasket for about $1 billion: Economic Times

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An employee sorts out vegetables before packing them at a Big Basket warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai
An employee sorts out vegetables before packing them at a Big Basket warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian online grocery startup BigBasket is in advanced talks to sell a majority stake for about $1 billion to salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, the Economic Times reported https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/bigbasket-in-talks-to-sell-majority-stake-to-tata-group/articleshow/78902595.cms?utm_source=ETTopNews&utm_medium=HPTN&utm_campaign=AL1&utm_content=23 on Wednesday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The century-old group has been planning to launch a "super app", one that will tie in all its consumer businesses, several media reports have said, as it competes against Amazon <AMZN.O> and Reliance Industries <RELI.NS>, who have made big bets on India's booming e-commerce market.

Bengaluru-based BigBasket competes with Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart and Amazon's "Fresh" service as more consumers stay indoors and choose to shop online during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Tata Group and BigBasket did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

China's Alibaba <9988.HK>, which holds around 26% stake in BigBasket, is expected to sell its entire shareholding in the company, the Economic Times reported.

"While the talks have been ongoing for some time, it is still work-in-progress as far as the specifics go. It may eventually not lead to a transaction at all," the newspaper cited one of the sources.

Separately, the Mint newspaper also reported https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/tata-eyes-majority-stake-in-bigbasket-11603843087482.html on Wednesday that Tata Group could pay $500 million-$700 million for a controlling stake in BigBasket. The paper had earlier said that BigBasket was looking to raise $200 million for a fresh funding round and was in talks with the Tata Group.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)