SoftBank says it respects S’deal decision

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son on Monday said he respected the decision of Snapdeal founders to call off merger talks with Flipkart and the Japanese firm is now pursuing separate discussions with the largest Indian e-tailer.

SoftBank, which announced its June quarter financials on Monday, has been reported to be in talks with Snapdeal’s rival and India’s largest e-commerce platform Flipkart for investing up to $2 billion. “We respect the decision of Snapdeal founders and we are engaged with Flipkart,” Son said after the results were announced.
Son, however, did not specify the details of the discussions with Flipkart. SoftBank holds close to 35 per cent stake in Snapdeal. Over the past few months, it had mediated the sale of the company to the larger rival.

But last week, the talks fell apart after Snapdeal announced that it had decided to pursue an independent path and was terminating all strategic discussions.

Sources had said after the Snapdeal transaction failed to work out, SoftBank started looking at investing up to $2 billion in Flipkart through its SoftBank Vision Fund. For the June quarter, SoftBank posted over 50 per cent rise in operating profit on the back of inclusion of the Vision Fund as a new se­g­ment. The SoftBank Vision Fund, which is billed to be the world’s largest private equity fund, booked a valuation gain this quarter. Net sales were up 3 per cent YoY to 2,186.1 billion yen, while net income was lower by 98 per cent to 5.5 billion yen in the June quarter.