Walmart-owned Flipkart Group as well as ecommerce major Amazon have held separate talks with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL), which owns brands like Pantaloons, Allen Solly and Peter England, for a potential investment, according to three people aware of the matter.

The two ecommerce companies are vying to acquire a minority stake in the Birla group company, sources said, at a time when offline retailers, especially in fashion and apparel segment, have been severely hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

People in the know told ET that Flipkart may edge ahead of Amazon.

“Flipkart is looking to pick up a small minority stake, about 10-15%, and onboard the retailer’s fashion portfolio as a strategic partner,” said one of the persons aware of the negotiations, adding that the investment is subject to ABFRL’s board approval.

“Amazon was also initially in conversations with the Birla group for (an) investment in its fashion business, but those talks may have fallen through..,” said another person in the know. When contacted by ET, Flipkart and Amazon declined to comment.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on rumours and market speculation,” a spokesperson for Aditya Birla Fashion said.

The board of ABFRL will meet on Friday to consider a proposal for raising funds, as per a company filing.

News Source: Livemint



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