Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to buy Snapdeal stake

Canada-based Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is looking to pick a minority equity stake in Delhi-based Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, which runs e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, according to The Economic Times citing sources privy to the development.

The pension fund will buy the stake from existing investors including eBay besides Sequoia Capital and Saama Capital, it added, saying that the deal will value the e-commerce firm at around $6.5 billion, a third higher than its last reported valuation of $4.68 billion when iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and others picked up a significant stake in the company last month.

In August, Snapdeal raised $500 million (Rs 3,250 crore) in fresh funding led by Foxconn, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and existing investor SoftBank. Its other existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and PremjiInvest also participated in this round.

E-commerce giant eBay - which had originally invested about $100 million in two phases between 2013 and 2014 for a 9.3 per cent equity stake in Snapdeal and became one of its strategic investors – had sold a portion of its holding in the last round.

Separate emailed queries to Snapdeal and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan on the proposed transaction did not elicit any response by the time of filing this article.

Snapdeal had previously raised $1 billion from SoftBank, eBay, BlackRock, Bessemer Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners. SoftBank alone pumped nearly $657 million in the online marketplace last year, becoming the largest investor in Snapdeal.

The Delhi-based company also counts Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, as a private investor.

In April this year, the company acquired online recharge and utility payments portal FreeCharge for $450 million (Rs 2,900 crore) in the biggest deal in the internet sector in India, to date.

Snapdeal was started as a pure online deals site and later it pivoted to a full-fledged horizontal e-commerce company via a marketplace model in September 2011. It primarily competes with Flipkart and Amazon in the booming Indian e-commerce business.

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