Amazon is acquiring a 49% equity stake in Future Coupons — the promoter entity of Future Retail — comprising both voting and non-voting shares, according to a stock exchange filing. “We have been informed by Mr. Kishore Biyani on behalf of the existing shareholders forming part of the promoter group and Future Coupons Limited (Promoters) that they have entered into a share subscription agreement and a shareholders’ agreement with Amazon.Com NV Investment Holdings LLC (Amazon),” said Future Retail in their filing.
Future Coupons owns a 7.3% stake in Future Retail, which operates 900 stores in India, including 293 Big Bazaar stores. Amazon now owns 3.58% stake in Future Retail. The deal is reportedly sized between Rs 1,500-2,000 crore.
Future Coupons is engaged in developing corporate gift cards, loyalty cards, and reward cards for corporate and institutional customers. Future Retail has said that Amazon’s stake is mainly an investment in the digital payments space.
Amazon yesterday launched Amazon Fresh, a two-hour grocery delivery service for select pin-codes, in Bangalore. This will soon be rolled out to other cities.
The deal is Amazon’s second move in the retail space in India. Last year, Amazon and Samara Capital had announced a joint investment in an entity (Witzig Advisory Services) that would have given them a stake in the More supermarket chain. This acquisition was contested in the CCI (and eventually cleared), traders’ body CAIT had asked that the Commerce Minister should stay and investigate the deal. Amazon already owns a stake in Indian departmental store Shopper’s Stop.