Amazon enters offline retail; buys stake in supermarket chain More

Amazon is entering the offline retail space in India by investing the supermarket chain More. Amazon is making a joint investment with Indian private equity firm Samara Capital in the Aditya Birla owned retail chain, the US company said on Thursday.

The investment is made by Witzig Advisory Services, which is owned by Samara Alternative Investment Fund, Amazon said without divulging financial details or the size of its stake.

ALSO READ: Amazon, Samara Capital may acquire Aditya Birla Group’s ‘More’

Witzig is in the process of acquiring Aditya Birla Retail, which runs over 540 More stores across India, according to a stock exchange filing.

Amazon would effectively own a stake in More’s supermarkets and hypermarkets, intensifying competition with rival Walmart, which acquired Indian online marketplace Flipkart this year.

Amazon and Samara Capital have agreed to co-invest in Witzig, a spokeswoman for Amazon said in an emailed statement. “Through this investment, Amazon looks to enhance its services portfolio and meaningfully invest in and create opportunities for skill development and job creation.”

Amazon, which entered India in 2013, expects groceries and household products to account for more than half of its business in India in the next five years, its country head told Reuters in an interview earlier this year.

Though the size of the deal was not disclosed reports value it at roughly $580 million.

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