The Tata group has proposed to acquire more than 60 per cent stake in online grocery platform BigBasket, according to a filing, as the conglomerate seeks to expand in the fast-growing e-commerce space.
The group plans to buy up to 64.3 per cent stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd (SGS) through a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions, a filing with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) showed.
The parties to the proposed deal are Tata Digital Ltd (TDL), SGS and Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt Ltd (IRC), which is engaged in B2C (business-to-consumer) sales through www.bigbasket.com and related mobile applications.
SGS is into B2B (business-to-business) sales through the portal business.bigbasket.com.
"The proposed transaction involves acquisition by TDL of up to 64.3 per cent of the total share capital of SGS (on a fully diluted basis) through a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions... through a separate transaction, SGS may acquire sole control over IRC," the filing said.
According to the filing, the proposed transaction "will result in the acquisition by TDL of majority stake of and control over SGS".
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt Ltd, TDL provides technology services related to identity and access management, loyalty programmes, offers and payments.
"The proposed transaction will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape or cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India, irrespective of the manner in which the relevant markets are defined," the filing added.
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Tatas have been looking to buy into BigBasket for the past many months and the proposed deal also provides an exit route for a host of investors, including Alibaba, controlled by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
Founded in 2011, BigBasket operates in 25 Indian cities. It competes with SoftBank-backed Grofers as well as Amazon India and Flipkart.
Deals beyond a certain threshold require approval from the CCI, which works to ensure fair competition in the marketplace.