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Snapdeal, Nexus reach deal with SoftBank for sale to Flipkart

11 May 2017

It is now in advanced stages to raise up to $1.9 billion in fresh funding from SoftBank itself, according to the report.

A non-exclusive term sheet would mean Snapdeal can hawk FreeCharge to other potential buyers as well.

While there had been speculation earlier that Paytm was looking to buy Freecharge, this latest development puts all rumours to rest.

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Citing people in the know of the things, the report said that Alibaba-backed Paytm will be beginning the financial and commercial due diligence for the transaction next week and if everything falls into place, the deal would be finalised within next thirty days. MobiKwik was looking for a merger deal with Freecharge.

Japan's SoftBank has secured the crucial nod from co-investor Nexus Venture Partners (NVP) for sale of Snapdeal to India's largest e-commerce firm, Flipkart, sources said.

Freecharge was earlier in talks with multiple other players including wallet major MobiKwik and global payments giant PayPal. ET, however, could not independently verify the same.

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If the sale materialises, it would mark a deal ahead of rumoured acquisition of Snapdeal by bigger rival Flipkart. However, along with Snapdeal, FreeCharge has also been struggling to stay afloat. Paytm and Snapdeal did not reply to email queries.

Freecharge is estimated to have recorded Rs 300 crore in transaction revenue and about 12 million in volume in April.

At the end of April it was reported that Paytm was looking to acquire Freecharge for a discounted price of 50% at $150-200 million. However, this is a separate transaction and not linked to Paytm's intention to acquire Freecharge and could close much before the Freecharge-Paytm merger discussions conclude. The Noida-based company said that it closed fiscal 2017 with three-fold growth in total transactions to 1.5 billion. Even if sold at the upper end of the range, it will be a steep fall in valuation for the company, which had seen layoffs of about 100 employees across the board, and for which its founders, till late past year, had demanded a valuation of close to $1billion.

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Snapdeal is also in talks with several parties to divest a majority stake of entirely sell its in-house logistics arm Vulcan Express.

Snapdeal, Nexus reach deal with SoftBank for sale to Flipkart