Bengaluru– The world’s largest retailer Walmart Inc on Wednesday announced it was buying 77 per cent equity stake in India’s e-tail major Flipkart for $16 billion.

“Subject to regulatory approval in India, Walmart will pay $16 billion (Rs 104,000 crore) for an initial stake of 77 per cent in Flipkart,” the Arkansas-based firm said in a statement from the US.

The acquisition of the majority stake makes Walmart the largest shareholder of the city-based Flipkart group and its investment will help accelerate its customer-focused mission to transform e-commerce in India through technology.

“The investment underscores our commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India, one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world,” it said.

The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Tiger Global Management LLC and Microsoft Corp.

“Though the focus will be on serving customers and growing the business, Walmart supports Flipkart’s ambition to transition into a publicly-listed, majority-owned subsidiary in the future,” the statement said.

The mega deal will give Walmart an opportunity to partner with the local leader in a large, fast-growing market, as the e-tailer leadership team will be supported by the other investment partners.

“The deal also underscores Walmart’s long-term commitment to India, where it looks to serve customers, support job creation, small businesses, farmers and women entrepreneurs.” (IANS)