CCI approves Tata Digital's acquisition of a majority stake in Bigbasket

Tata Digital will acquire a 64.3 percent stake in Bigbasket, giving the conglomerate a strong foothold into the online grocery and fruits and vegetable delivery market.
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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday has approved the Tata Group’s acquisition of a majority stake in online grocery delivery company – Bigbasket.

“CCI approves acquisition by Tata Digital Limited of up to 64.3 percent of the total share capital of Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd (SGS) and SGS’ sole control over Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited,” a statement read.

Tata Digital is the subsidiary of Tata Sons, while Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd is the holding company of Bigbasket. Bengaluru-based online grocery startup Bigbasket was founded in December 2011.

The Tata Group had formally applied to the CCI to acquire a majority stake in the online grocery delivery company Bigbasket through its holding companies, which will be both primary and secondary transactions.

The Tata Group is likely to acquire Bigbasket in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. The CCI looks into anti-competitive behaviour in any merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction.

Tata Digital's application said, “The proposed transaction will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape or cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India, irrespective of the manner in which the relevant markets are defined.”

The acquisition by the Tata Group of Bigbasket signals its intention of having a strong presence in the Indian digital commerce market. It joins other Indian conglomerates, including Reliance Group, which already has a headstart in the space.

The online grocery delivery market is now warming for heightened activity as other leading players such as Amazon and Flipkart have announced their intention to expand into this category.

The Indian grocery segment is highly competitive with low margins, and it is a volume game. Now, the grocery segment is likely to see intense competition from four leading corporates — two from the US and the other two from India.

Edited by Suman Singh

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