In what may be a major development in India’s e-commerce scenario, Tata Digital has sought the approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire 64.3 per cent stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Ltd (SGS), which operates the business-to-business arm of the online grocery firm BigBasket.
In its submission to the anti-trust body, Tata Digital, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, said that the proposed transaction involves acquisition by of up to 64.3 per cent of the total share capital of SGS, on a fully diluted basis, through a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions, in one or more series of steps.
Subsequently, through a separate transaction, SGS may acquire sole control over Innovative Retail Concepts Private Ltd (IRC).
IRC is engaged in online business-to-consumer (B2C) sales of the relevant products in India and operates the website www.bigbasket.com and related mobile applications.
“The proposed transaction will result in the acquisition by TDL of majority stake of and control over SGS,” it said.
It also said that the proposed transaction will not lead to any change in the competitive landscape or cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition in India, irrespective of the manner in which the relevant markets are defined.
It submitted that the relevant markets for the purpose of the proposed transaction are “the market for B2B sales of relevant products in India” and “the market for B2C sales of relevant products in India”.
The move is likely to make Tatas a major player in India’s fast growing e-commerce market. It would also be significant in the group’s plan to come up with a super app.