Flipkart completes $100 m ESOP repurchase programme

Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce marketplace, on Wednesday completed its Employee Stock Options repurchase programme (ESOP), making it the largest-ever share buyback programme in India.

According to a company statement, over 3000 past and present employees of Flipkart Group participated in the buyback offer that led to a disbursement of over $100 million.

Initiated in October, the programme gave all eligible current and former employees of Flipkart, and group companies Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe, an opportunity to sell to the company a part of their vested ESOP units.

The company also claimed that the repurchase programme is the single largest liquidity providing event in India by an unlisted, private company to its ESOP holders.

Commenting on the development, Flipkart Chairman Sachin Bansal and Group CEO Binny Bansal said in a statement that employees are the biggest source of strength and without them Flipkart couldn't have built the e-commerce industry in India.

"As an organisation, we believe they should be equal partners in Flipkart's success. This ESOP repurchase programme is an extension of that culture, and a token of thanks for the dedication and hard work they have put in over the years," they stated.

"We're delighted to be setting the benchmark on this important parameter, not only in the startup industry but the wider Indian private sector as well," they said.

This also marks the fourth instance in the past 5 years when Flipkart has given its ESOP holders an opportunity to encash a percentage of their vested stock options, an unparalleled feat among startups and private companies in India.

According to analysts, the share sale is happened at a lower valuation than Flipkart's peak valuation of $15 billion. "But it is a bonanza for for most of Flipkart's investors, especially Tiger Global and Accel,"said an analyst.

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