Snapdeal founders prefer sale to Infibeam as SoftBank pushes for Flipkart
Photo Credit: Reuters

Online marketplace Snapdeal’s co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal reportedly want to sell their company to listed e-commerce firm Infibeam or would prefer to stay independent, a financial daily reported citing two people aware of the development.

However, the Snapdeal board is divided on the suitors. SoftBank, the largest investor in the troubled e-commerce firm, wants rival Flipkart to buy the firm, a report in Mint said on Monday.

In order to remain an independent entity, Snapdeal may cut jobs and reduce the size of its business, the report added.

An email sent by VCCircle to Snapdeal seeking comments did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Last week, Flipkart had made a revised offer to buy Snapdeal for about $900 million after its first offer of $700-$800 million was rejected by the Snapdeal board. Snapdeal had said the offer was significantly lower than its $1-billion valuation.

Two weeks ago, media reports suggested that Ahmedabad-based e-tailer Infibeam had also made an offer to buy Snapdeal after presenting a term sheet that likely valued the company, excluding Vulcan Express and FreeCharge, at $1 billion. However, the publicly-listed e-tailer denied any interest in acquiring the troubled Snapdeal.

While negotiations with Flipkart are at an advanced stage, inking the deal could still take several weeks as it involves various regulatory approvals and shareholder agreements.

Infibeam, which is heavily focused on the business-to-business segment, will greatly benefit from acquiring Snapdeal as it would give the firm access to the business-to-consumer segment.

For Flipkart, the merger is important as Softbank’s proposed investment in it is contingent upon the deal.

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