The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is investing $1 billion in Amazon.com Inc.’s chief rival in the Indian e-commerce sector.
The Flipkart Group, which was founded in 2007, boasted the largest share of India’s e-commerce market in 2020, significantly ahead of its closest rival Amazon. The CPPIB investment is part of a total US$3.6 billion funding round for the company.
According to a press release, Agus Tandiono, the CPPIB’s managing director and head of fundamental equities in Asia, said the pension investment organization was attracted to the company’s ability to capitalize on the deepening pockets of India’s consumers. “We believe India will be a leading source of global growth in the decades ahead, supported by positive demographics, a growing middle class and deepening Internet penetration.”
In preparation for this month’s funding round, Flipkart Group received a valuation of US$37.5 billion. According to multiple reports, it’s expected to become a publicly traded company by the end of 2021.
Alongside the CPPIB’s move in India, a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is acquiring a foothold in the country’s growing pharmaceutical development sector.
Ivanhoé Cambridge, the Caisse’s real estate subsidiary, has reached a deal to secure an 80 per cent stake in a portfolio of life sciences research and development laboratories in Hyderabad, India’s fourth-largest city. The current asset manager, Lighthouse Canton Ltd., will maintain a 20 per cent stake and will continue to oversee the management of the laboratories.
Located in an area known as Genome Valley due to its high concentration of bio-technology firms, the laboratories, which have a combined area of close to eight hectares, were previously leased by more than 20 pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies, vaccine manufacturers and research organizations.
Chanakya Chakravarti, Ivanhoé’s managing director for India, said in a press release that the investment was a result of the firm’s confidence in the potential of India’s bio-tech industry in the post-pandemic world. “A new health-care focus positions office labs as a unique and exciting opportunity. We look forward to participating in this high-growth sector by expanding the portfolio through select acquisitions in partnership with an aligned asset manager.”