India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart Ltd is negotiating the sale of a stake in the company to Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) in a 500 crore deal.
Under the proposed deal, Flipkart will issue shares to BCCL in return for cash and advertisements over several years in its media properties such as The Times of India and The Economic Times newspapers and ETNow and Times Now channels.
The report quotes one insider as saying, “the talks are progressing slower than what both companies want but a deal is likely to happen”.
With access to the advertisements in country’s most popular media channels and newspapers, Flipkart hopes it could certainly contribute in helping reach common people.
At its currently presumed valuation of $15 billion, it would mean that Flipkart is selling a 0.5% stake in the company.
These negotiations are in line with other ad-for-equity deals between BCCL’s investment arm Brand Capital and Indian internet startups. This is the third such venture by Brand Capital, with a previous deal with Snapdeal and final negotiations underway with online classifieds forums Quickr.
BCCL struck a similar deal with online marketplace Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd) in February. It also has investments in a large number of start-ups such as cab-hailing service Uber, services provider Haptik and education start-up Coursera. BCCL also owns real estate listings site magicbricks.com and digital music start-up Gaana.