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India's Tata buys majority stake in online grocer BigBasket

India's Tata buys majority stake in online grocer BigBasket

FILE PHOTO: Employees arrange tomatoes before weighing them at a Big Basket warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai November 4, 2014. Picture taken November 4. Danish Siddiqui

BENGALURU -Tata Sons has acquired a majority stake in online grocery seller BigBasket, putting the Indian conglomerate in a direct race with e-commerce players Amazon.com Inc, Walmart's Flipkart and Reliance Industries.

The stake was bought by Tata Digital Limited, a unit of Tata Sons. Tata on Friday declined to give further details on the deal, while BigBasket did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

India's antitrust body had in March approved the acquisition of up to a 64.3per cent stake in BigBasket by Tata Digital.

Media reports have said the deal is worth about 95 billion rupees (US$1.31 billion), and will involve buying out Chinese giant Alibaba's stake.

The deal comes as e-commerce sales, especially of food and groceries, have accelerated in India as the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a big shift to online shopping.

Tata, which has interests in products spanning from salt to luxury cars to software, has been planning to launch a "super app" that will tie in all its consumer businesses, according to media reports.

(US$1 = 72.4200 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: Reuters

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