Indian online retailer Flipkart is planning to list itself in the U.S. in the next 18 months to raise about $5 billion, Times of India, a local newspaper, reported on Thursday, citing investment bankers it didn’t name, adding that a final figure for the actual share sale hasn’t been arrived at yet.
The deal, if it comes through, would be the largest listing by an Indian company, valuing Flipkart at between $25 billion and $35 billion, depending on the final amount raised, the newspaper said. A marquee list of Wall Street banks are said to be in talks with the e-commerce firm to win the mandate to run the listing.
Flipkart declined to comment in an email response to a query by International Business Times.
Eight-year-old Flipkart, whose largest shareholder is New York-based private equity company Tiger Global Management LLC, has privately raised about $2.7 billion in multiple rounds of funding, as it moves to expand in a market with intense competition from Amazon.com as well as local rivals such as Snapdeal.
At the time of its most recent funding round, in which it raised $700 million, Flipkart said it had applied to be converted into a public company in Singapore in accordance with the rules there, adding the change shouldn’t be construed as an indication the company was seeking an IPO.
The round saw more investors taking a bet on Flipkart, including Baillie Gifford, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates and Qatar Investment Authority. Other existing investors include DST Global, GIC and ICONIQ Capital.
Last year Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos said his company would spend $2 billion in expanding operations in India. Snapdeal has also raised funds from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Corp. as India’s growing number of online shoppers propel investors to bet on startups.
China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has also made an entry into India, reportedly investing in mobile payment platform startup Paytm, allowing Chinese consumers to shop for Indian goods and Indian buyers to pay for their purchases on Alibaba using Paytm.