Now that Tiger Global Management Partner Lee Fixel has stepped down from Ola’s board, the US-headquartered firm seems to be ready to sell its stake in the cab aggregator to none other than SoftBank. As per a recent report by Business Standard (paywall), the Japanese investment behemoth is currently in final stages of acquiring an additional 10%-12% in ANI Technologies, the company that owns and operates Ola.
If the deal between SoftBank and Tiger Global goes through, the former might become the largest shareholder in the ride-sharing startup.
According to sources close to the development, Masayoshi Son-led Softbank is looking to buy out a portion of Tiger Global’s stake in Ola for somewhere around $400 Mn-$500 Mn. The latter currently holds a 15% stake in the homegrown cab aggregator.
Talks of SoftBank holding discussions with Tiger Global about a potential buyout first surfaced in May this year. At the time, it was stated that SoftBank was looking to buy Tiger Global’s stake in Ola for about $700 Mn.
Interestingly, SoftBank made a similar move in another Indian unicorn, Flipkart, earlier this year. Following the fallout of merger talks between Snapdeal and Flipkart, the Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal-founded ecommerce giant secured a $2 Bn+ funding from SoftBank Vision Fund, as an extension of the $1.4 Bn financing it picked up in April from Microsoft, Tencent and eBay.
At the time, it was reported that around $500 Mn out of the total investment was to paid to Tiger Global by SoftBank, in exchange for one-third of its shares in Flipkart. Prior to that, the US-based hedge fund held a 28% stake in the ecommerce platform.