Vani Kola quits Snapdeal board amid sale talks with Flipkart

Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola’s resignation is being seen as a sign of the investor’s willingness to reach a deal with SoftBank on Snapdeal sale to Flipkart


Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola’s resignation comes amid talks of Snapdeal sale to Flipkart being led by SoftBank. Photo: Mint
Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola’s resignation comes amid talks of Snapdeal sale to Flipkart being led by SoftBank. Photo: Mint

Bengaluru: In a widely expected move, Kalaari Capital managing director (MD) Vani Kola has resigned from the board of beleaguered online marketplace Snapdeal, amid talks to sell the company to larger rival Flipkart.

According to regulatory documents sourced from data platform Tofler, Kola sent her resignation letter to the board of Snapdeal on 2 May.

“I regretfully inform you that at this juncture I would be unable to continue to be a part of the board, hence, I hereby tender my resignation from the office of the director of the company and request the board to discharge me of my duties as a director of the company with immediate effect,” said Kola in the letter. Vani Kola and Snapdeal didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment on her resignation.

On 11 May, Mint reported Flipkart had made an informal offer to buy Snapdeal for $1 billion in an all-stock deal, amid persistent differences between Snapdeal’s largest investor SoftBank Group and two key shareholders, Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari.

On 3 May, Mint first reported that the board of directors of Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd moved a step closer to agreeing to a distress sale to Flipkart, with SoftBank finally convincing Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Nexus and Kalaari to agree to sell the company to Flipkart.

Kola’s resignation has been seen as a sign of Kalaari’s willingness to reach a deal with SoftBank, according to people directly aware of the matter.

News of Kola’s resignation from Snapdeal’s board was first reported by Mint on 5 April, when SoftBank, Nexus and Kalaari took the first step towards resolving their conflict and effectively cleared the way for Snapdeal’s sale to Flipkart. Those differences are still yet to be resolved, but all three shareholders have principally agreed to the sale of the struggling e-commerce firm.

The last round of talks between the three shareholders has pushed them closer to a deal and people aware of the discussions said that the deal will be finalized over the next week or two.

Kalaari and Nexus are currently feuding over their exit payouts from SoftBank—SoftBank has proposed to hand out $60 million to Nexus and about $30 million to Kalaari. Snapdeal founders Bahl and Bansal have been offered $15 million each, with an additional $30 million for the entire management team and employees at Snapdeal.

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