Timing of Naspers exit from Flipkart may have been fortunate
Rationale for the divestment was that its influence over Indian e-commerce business would have been heavily diluted by Walmart
As it turns out, Naspers may have exited Flipkart at a fortunate time. In May 2018, Africa’s biggest public company sold its 11.2% stake in the Indian e-commerce business to Walmart for $2.2bn. This happened when the US retail behemoth took over 77% of Flipkart. The rationale for the divestment was that Naspers’s influence over Flipkart would have been heavily diluted by Walmart. Less than a year later, India’s e-commerce sector is set for a shake-up. Citing an analysis from PwC, Reuters has reported that India’s new foreign investment restrictions on e-commerce could reduce online sales in the country by $46bn by 2022. E-commerce firms including Amazon.com and Flipkart will, from February 1, be unable to sell products via companies in which they have an equity interest or push sellers to sell exclusively on their platforms. The rules, which were announced in December, just months before a general election due by May, are seen as an attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governme...