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Is Flipkart preparing for an IPO soon?

Reuters

Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce portal, is preparing to list on the stock exchanges, a news report said on Wednesday.

Citing unnamed company sources, The Hindu BusinessLine newspaper reported that Flipkart is readying “itself for an IPO or a full sell-off”.

The report said that the Flipkart board had “decided to make the company IPO-ready in 18-24 months. Some investors are apparently keen for a full sell-off depending on how the valuation and the market conditions pan out at that time.”

In a separate report, Business Standard newspaper said that the company may be looking at a Nasdaq listing in 2018. The report said that Flipkart has hired one of the “big four” audit firms to prepare for its IPO, referring to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.

The reports come even as the company on Monday announced a significant management restructuring with former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy taking over as its CEO. 

The Hindu BusinessLine report also said that, in the past, a few players were keen on taking over Flipkart. “It is learnt that Amazon was willing to offer up to $8 billion to buy Flipkart while the investors and the founders wanted about $12 billion. It is also learnt that Walmart might be keen on reviving its plans to buy into Flipkart as it is fast losing ground to Amazon in the US, its home base,” the report noted.

However,  the top-level shuffle signals that the company is still striving to set the house in order even as it fights a tough battle against Amazon in online retailing.

Flipkart had a tumultuous 2016.The company struggled with successive exits of top-level executives and a markdown in its valuation by several mutual fund investors.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times said in a report on Wednesday that three top executives--Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who headed the e-tailer supply chain unit Ekart; senior vice president and product head Surojit Chatterjee, and chief marketing officer Samardeep Subandh are leaving the company. 

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Tiger Global LP is a private equity fund managed by Tiger Global Management LLC. It provides growth stage capital to companies operating in India and worldwide. The firm seeks to invest in finance and technology sectors.

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