Snapdeal – Flipkart Unfolds: Snapdeal’s lead attorney Ashish Chandra quits as merger nears conclusion

Investors drive decisions on a merger with Flipkart, even as Snapdeal has hired Amarchand Mangaldas to lead the negotiations for the deal, expected to be concluded this month.

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Ashish Chandra who was serving as the general counsel of the Softbank-backed e-commerce firm Snapdeal since 2014 has quit the company as investors are driving decisions on final contours of the firm’s merger with rival Flipkart, people privy to the development told Moneycontrol.

Besides advising Snapdeal on multiple deals, Chandra was also running E-Agility, the wholesale unit of Snapdeal. The idea behind E-Agility was to create a structure similar to Flipkart’s WS Retail and Amazon’s Cloudtail which sell goods to online buyers.

Chandra confirmed his exit but declined to divulge further details.

The Unfolds: company lawyer’s exit comes at a crucial time when Snapdeal is about to close the final terms and conditions of the much talked-about merger with rival Flipkart.

Snapdeal instead is reported to have hired law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas to negotiate the deal. The law firm is also expected to be negotiating the compensation to be given to the employees.

According to one of the persons quoted above, in this merger with Flipkart most of the discussions are being led by investors and Snapdeal’s existing legal and M&A teams have adopted a supporting role.

Sources quoted above said that Chandra’s continued role in the combined entity was not certain. He was associated with Snapdeal till April.

Snapdeal did not respond to an email query on the issue.

Led a 22 member team of attorneys

Chandra is learnt to have advised the company during crucial deals such as the USD 450 million acquisition of mobile recharge platform Freecharge in 2015.

He was also part of the company’s efforts to acquire fashion portal Jabong which did not materialise as Jabong got acquired by rival Flipkart in 2016.

Chandra was working with Snapdeal since October 2014. He led a 22-member strong team of attorneys. According to his Linkedin profile, he led the legal and tax structure, negotiated and concluded financing and acquisition deals aggregating over USD 1.5 billion for the company. This also included 12 acquisitions made by Snapdeal.

Chandra follows senior executives such as Tony Navin, Abhishek Kumar and Sandeep Komaravelly, among others, who, too, have quit the company in the last few months.

Last week, Kalaari Capital’s Vani Kola, the earliest investor and board member of Snapdeal also put in her papers, as the deal nears conclusion.

Besides Softbank, Snapdeal has been funded by Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, among others. The company has raised USD 1.75 billion so far. However, it is likely to be sold even lesser than the amount it has raised.

Last month, Kunal Bahl, the Founder of Snapdeal in an email to the company’s employees, indicated that the founders had little control over the developments at the company as the investors had taken most of the decisions in their hands.

Credit : Priyanka Sahay
Moneycontrol News

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/snapdeals-lead-attorney-ashish-chandra-quits-as-merger-nears-conclusion-2278927.html

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