Amazon is acquiring 49% stake in India’s Future Coupons

Amazon, which has invested over $6 billion in India’s growing internet market, just invested a little more to expand its foothold in the the world’s second largest internet market. The U.S. e-commerce giant has acquired a 49% stake in Future Coupons, a group entity owned by India’s second largest retail chain Future Group, the latter said in a regulatory filing Thursday evening (local time).

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Amazon has agreed to invest in Future Coupons Limited, which is engaged in developing innovative value-added payment products and solutions such as corporate gift cards, loyalty cards, and reward cards primarily for corporate and institutional customers. This investment will enhance Amazon’s existing portfolio of investments in the payments landscape in India.”

“Pursuant to these agreements, Amazon has agreed to make an equity investment in Future Coupons Limited for acquiring a 49% stake comprising both, voting and non-voting shares. As part of the agreement, Amazon has been granted a call option,” Future Retail said in a filing (PDF) to the local stock exchange.

As part of the agreement, Amazon has the option to “acquire all or part of the promoters’ shareholding in it Future Retail Limited” between the third and tenth year in “certain circumstances, subject to applicable law.” Future Coupons owns about 7.3% stake in Future Retail, according to past regulatory filings.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The Promoters have also agreed to certain share transfer restrictions on their shares in the Company for same tenure, including restrictions to not transfer shares to specified persons, a right of first offer in favour of Amazon, all of which are subject to mutually agreed exceptions (such as liquidity allowances and affiliate transfers). The transaction contemplated above is subject to obtaining applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions,” Future Retail added.

Future Retail can’t directly sell stake in Amazon, so it is routing it through one of its entities. Future Retail runs over 2,000 stores, including “Big Bazaar” retail stores, across 400 cities in India.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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