American retail giant Amazon.com is in advanced talks to buy 10 percent stake in India’s Future Retail as part of the strategy to strengthen presence in one of the world’s fastest-growing retail markets, Bloomberg reported.
Walmart, the main rival of Amazon, already bought a majority stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Future Group, India’s No. 2 retailer by turnover, is seeking a valuation of about 20 billion rupees or $281 million from Amazon for the stake. The retail group currently operates more than 900 stores in India and owns nine supermarket brands, including Big Bazaar.
The deal will give the Jeff Bezos-controlled retail major an edge over rival Walmart and the planned e-commerce venture of Mukesh Ambani.
Seattle-based Amazon was also in discussions with retail unit of Reliance Industries (RIL) to buy stake in India’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, Reuters reported earlier this month.
Deloitte expects India’s e-commerce market to more than treble to $84 billion between 2017 and 2021.
Amazon purchased 5 percent stake in Indian retailer Shoppers Stop in 2017 and a year later picked up stake in grocery chain More, Reuters reported.
Amazon started embracing brick-and-mortar stores in the United States after its purchase of high-end grocer Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in 2017.