Ivey Publishing

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Walmart's Flipkart Acquisition: A Showstopper Deal?
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15 pages (9 pages of text)
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Case (Pub Mat)
In May 2018, Walmart Inc. (Walmart) announced its acquisition of a 77 per cent stake in the Indian e-commerce company Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd. (Flipkart). It was the largest acquisition of an Indian company and the world's largest purchase of an e-commerce company. The deal would provide Walmart with the opportunity to expand globally in competition with its old rival, Amazon.com Inc., and it would provide Flipkart with additional capital to operate in a hypercompetitive environment and an opportunity to leverage Walmart's omni-channel retail expertise. However, despite the strategic alignments, several factors could complicate the deal. Were Walmart's detailed analysis and due diligence prior to the acquisition sufficient to ensure a successful acquisition, or could human resources considerations affect the expected outcomes of the acquisition?
Learning Objective:
This case can be used in both undergraduate- and graduate- level courses on international human resource management, in a module on international mergers and acquisitions. The case could also be taught in a general management or strategy course. The case will help students understand the various dimensions of international mergers and acquisitions, as well as the fact that human resource issues are more critical than financial, technical, and legal issues in the success or failure of international mergers and acquisitions. After working through the case and the assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
  • Explain the business need for international mergers and acquisitions (M&As).
  • Critically evaluate cultural and other human resource factors that can impede international M&As.
  • Identify the critical roles that human resource managers play in international M&As.
  • Use an appropriate framework to assess the task of managing culture in the transformation and change inherent in an international M&A.
General Management/Strategy,  International
Retail Trade
India, Large, 2018
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