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Amazon to buy stake in Future Retail

Amazon to buy stake in Future Retail
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American e-commerce giant Amazon has signed a deal that would give it the option to take a significant stake in Future Retail Ltd, gaining access to physical stores across the world's fastest-growing retail market.

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New Delhi: American e-commerce giant Amazon has signed a deal that would give it the option to take a significant stake in Future Retail Ltd, gaining access to physical stores across the world's fastest-growing retail market.

The deal would indirectly give Amazon a 3.58 per cent stake in Future Retail Ltd, which runs more than 2,000 stores, including budget department and grocery chain Big Bazaar, in 400 cities in the Asia's third-largest economy, the Indian firm said.

Future Retail said Amazon has agreed to buy a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Ltd. Future Coupons owns a 7.3 per cent interest in Future Retail Ltd (FRL). The agreement - subject to regulatory approval - gives Amazon the option to buy all or part of Future Coupons' shareholding in Future Retail.

This, however, will not be exercisable until between three and ten years. Future Retail did not disclose the terms of the deal. It also gives Amazon the right of first refusal should Future Retail's founder, Kishore Biyani or his family decide to further trim the 47.02 per cent stake they hold in the company.

This stake includes both direct and holding through entities such as Future Coupons. The deal comes amid reports of Amazon being in late-stage talks to snap up to 10 per cent in India's third-largest merchandiser, whose founding family was seeking a valuation of about Rs 2,000 crore.

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