Whole Foods may have been just the start.
Amazon and a Mumbai-based private equity firm, through an investment entity, is acquiring a company in India that operates 523 supermarkets and 20 hypermarkets under the name “More.” The acquisition is expected to help give Amazon a brick-and-mortar grocery presence in India.
According to the India-based news site Mint, Amazon and Samara Capital are purchasing More by acquiring a controlling interest in its parent, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd., through a joint Amazon-Samara venture called Witzig Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
Mint reports that, due to foreign ownership regulations in India, Amazon holds a 49 percent stake in the joint venture with Samara. Amazon is said to have earlier allocated $500 million to build a food retail business in India. The More acquisition is estimated to be worth $580 million.
The purchase comes as Amazon faces Walmart-owned Flipkart in India, which has no offline presence.
Amazon has been deepening its efforts in physical grocery. In addition to its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Markets last year, Amazon now has four Amazon Go locations including one that opened in Chicago this week, and is said to be eyeing up to 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.