Son made the comment as he was underscoring the point that his investments are paying off. The Japanese company, through its Vision Fund, invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart
and that stake will be worth about $4 billion in the deal, Son told a briefing on Wednesday. He didn’t elaborate on other terms of the Walmart
takeover. The deal values Flipkart
at about $20 billion, people familiar with the matter have said previously.
An announcement is expected later on Wednesday.
After his initial comments, Son noticed a sheet of paper that had been left on the podium for his attention. He picked it up and smiled.
“Oh, I see here that the Flipkart-Walmart
deal isn’t fully confirmed at this point in time,” he said to the laughing audience. “Yabai desune,” he added, which translates in Japanese roughly to “Oops” or “That’s not good.”
“What should I do?” he said. “Well, I said it. I can’t take it back. So that’s it.”
Flipkart, India’s biggest online retailer, is a key part of Walmart’s efforts to expand in the country and strike a blow against Amazon.
com Inc. in the world’s second-most populous nation.
The deal -- which may be the biggest ever in e-commerce -- gives Walmart greater access to an Indian e-commerce market that Morgan Stanley
has estimated will grow to $200 billion in about a decade. Flipkart, meanwhile, gets additional capital and expertise to battle Amazon, which has spent billions of dollars to gain customers in India.
Online sales in the world’s second most-populous nation are growing about 35 percent a year, according to data tracker Euromonitor, fueled by a rising middle class and urbanization that present an attractive environment for e-commerce.