Samara Capital, Amazon infuse $37 mn in supermarket chain More

Samara Capital, Amazon infuse $37 mn in supermarket chain More
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21 Sep, 2020

Witzig Advisory Services, the holding company of More supermarket chain, has raised Rs 275 crore ($37.4 million according to current exchange rates) from ecommerce major Amazon and private equity firm Samara Capital.

Mumbai-based Samara Alternate Investment Fund put in Rs 140.25 crore while Amazon invested a total of Rs 134.74 core through two of its funds -- Coda Holdings Singapore and Coda Holdings 3, regulatory filings show.

This is the first infusion into the entity after Samara Capital and Amazon formed the joint venture to acquire More Retail from Aditya Birla Retail in September 2018. Media reports pegged More’s enterprise value at Rs 4,200 crore at the time.

According to the filings, Samara holds a 51% stake in the company and Amazon owns 49% as of August 10, 2020. 

More runs 651 supermarkets and 22 hypermarkets spread across the country, according to its website. It is the fourth-largest supermarket chain in the country after Reliance Retail, Future Group and D-Mart. 

In April this year, Samara Capital appointed former top executive at Colgate-Palmolive, Vinod Nambiar, as managing director of More Retail.

The infusion, which has come ahead of the festive season, is expected to strengthen More’s retail play.

Both online and offline retail segments in India have seen an increase in the competition after the emergence of Reliance Industries owned Reliance Fresh stores and Jio Marts. RIL also recently acquired the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business of Future Group for $3.38 billion.

Ecommerce major Flipkart has also made known its ambitions to expand into the grocery space with the launch of Flipkart Quick, its hyperlocal delivery service.

Amazon acquired an indirect stake of 3.6% in Future Retail, the brick and mortar retail business of Future Group in 2019. It is unclear what will happen to Amazon’s stakes in Future Retail post the acquisition by RIL.

In 2017, Amazon had also bought 5% stake in Shoppers Stop to strengthen its offline retail play.

Note: The story has been updated with additional details from regulatory filings.