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Walmart-Flipkart deal: Still weighing stake sale, says SoftBank CEO

Mayumi Negishi | WSJ/ 16 May 18 | 01:50 AM

SoftBank Group Corp CEO Masayoshi Son

SoftBank Group Corp, which runs the world’s largest technology fund, is still weighing its options regarding plans to sell its stake in India’s Flipkart Group to Walmart Inc, Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said Tuesday.

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“We are considering many options," Mr Son said on the sidelines of The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Tokyo. He didn’t elaborate further.

Last week, Walmart agreed to take control of Flipkart—India’s largest e-commerce company—for $16 billion. That deal increased the value of the tech-focused Vision Fund’s stake in Flipkart by 60 per cent, Mr Son said last week.

But a final decision on what SoftBank does with its stake won’t be made until the end of the week.

It hinges on tax considerations and a decision on whether SoftBank will increase its stake in e-commerce payment system Paytm, one person familiar to the matter said. SoftBank is weighing its options on a bigger investment in Paytm, Mr Son said Tuesday.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund manages nearly $100 billion from backers like Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi as well as companies including Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and Foxconn Technology Co.

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