Samara-Amazon to acquire More

Private equity firm Samara Capital along with Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, have agreed to buy Aditya Birla group’s food and grocery retail chain, More, for an undisclosed sum.

A person close to the development, however, said the transaction was valued at around ₹4,200 crore.

The acquisition of Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, which runs More, will be done through Samara Capital’s arm Witzig Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd in which Amazon is a minority shareholder.

RKN Retail Pvt. Ltd, a promoter entity of Aditya Birla Retail, said it has agreed to sell its entire 62.2% stake in the retailer to Witzig.

Samara and Amazon will be acquiring More through a two-step process.

It will first buy the stake in Aditya Birla Retail from RKN Retail. The balance stake will be acquired from Kanishtha Finance and Investment Pvt. Ltd, another promoter entity of Aditya Birla Retail.

The move to acquire Aditya Birla Retail follows Amazon’s plans to build its food retail business in India for which it has made a separate allocation of $500 million.

More will help Amazon execute its strategy to build out an offline presence in India at a time when its US rival Walmart Inc. is seeking to establish its dominance in online retail through the purchase of Flipkart for $16 billion. In August, Walmart completed its acquisition of Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce company.

Aditya Birla group ventured into food and grocery retailing business in 2007 through its acquisition of Trinethra Super Retail.

According to the company’s website, the firm operates 523 supermarkets and 20 hypermarkets under the brand More, making it the fourth largest supermarket chain in the country, after Reliance Retail, Future Group and D-Mart.

Some of Aditya Birla Retail own brands include More Daily, More Fresh, Prarthana and Blue earth.

The transaction will help Aditya Birla Group to pare debt.

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