A Tata group company has approached the Competition Commission of India seeking its nod for acquiring Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt., the parent of online grocer BigBasket.com, as the salt-to-software group strengthens its retail business.
“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,” Tata Digital Ltd. said in its proposal to the competition watchdog.
Tata Digital acquired a 64.3% stake in Supermarket Grocery Pvt., which runs the business-to-business sales of BigBasket, as part of the deal. According to the proposal, Supermarket Grocery ‘’may acquire sole control” over Innovative Retail.
As of now, Supermarket Grocery control the online business-to-business sales of BigBasket and Innovative Retail runs bigbasket.com.
Bloomberg had in December reported that both sides were in an advanced stage of talks for the acquisition. A go-ahead from the CCI is required as the regulator is tasked with ensuring a level-playing field and see that no transaction causes an adverse effect on the competitive landscape of an industry.
The transaction is aimed boosting the retail business of the salt-to-steel conglomerate at a time deal activity has accelerated in India’s retail business. About half of this $1-trillion market comprises grocery sales.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. has agreed to buy Future Retail Ltd., the operator of Big Bazaar outlets. The deal is facing legal challenges from Amazon.com Inc.