Tata Group in advanced talks to buy 80% stake in BigBasket for $ 1.3 bn

Topics Tata group | Big Basket | Alibaba

Workers unload crates of sauce onto shelves at a warehouse of Bigbasket in Bengaluru, India, in 2018. (Bloomberg)
India’s Tata Group is in advanced talks to buy as much as 80% of BigBasket in a deal that is likely to value the local online grocer backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. at about $1.6 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.

The conglomerate is now negotiating how much stake it would purchase in Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt., which is commonly known as BigBasket.com, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing details of private talks. Mint newspaper reported earlier that Tata may buy close to 80% for $1.3 billion.

A spokeswoman for Tata declined to comment, while BigBasket didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Mumbai-based Tata Group, with a combined revenue of about $113 billion and marquee brands such as Jaguar Land Rover and tea maker Tetley, is scouting for local e-commerce assets at a time when the race for Indian online shoppers is heating up. While billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s JioMart is seeking to shake up the industry dominated by the local units of Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc., Tata is seeking potential acquisitions to narrow the gap with its rivals.

Online grocery in India has been growing at a rocketing pace during the pandemic, but the field is still wide open as none of the players has yet made a dent. About half of India’s $1 trillion retail market comprises grocery sales and there is huge potential for growth.

The pandemic is shortening timelines for building in-house capabilities and for Tata, Walmart’s $16 billion acquisition of Indian online retailer, Flipkart, in the summer of 2018, could serve as a playbook. Flipkart is now head to head with Amazon in the India market.

Mint reported that Chinese giant Alibaba was likely to dispose of its entire stake in the deal. Alibaba representatives declined to comment.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel