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Walmart’s Flipkart $37.6 billion value, Musk under fire again, Nordstrom buys stake in Asos brands

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Julie Hyman breaks down Monday’s business headlines, including: Walmart’s Flipkart Group getting a valuation of $37.6 billion ahead of its public listing in the U.S., Elon Musk testifying in a Delaware Court about Tesla’s $2.5 billion acquisition of SolarCity, and Nordstrom buying a minority stake in 4 Asos brands in its push to attract younger consumers.

Video Transcript

[NO AUDIO]

JULIE HYMAN: Other business headlines we're watching today, Elon Musk, could testify as early as today, in a trial examining his combination of Tesla and SolarCity in 2016. Musk was chairman of both companies at the time, and plaintiffs, including pension funds, say the $2.1 billion deal was designed to bail out the unprofitable solar business. Tesla's other board members agreed to pay $60 million last year in a settlement tied to the deal, although they denied wrongdoing. That amount by the way, was paid by insurance.

A fundraising ground for Flipkart values the Indian e-commerce retailer at $37.6 billion. The main owner, Walmart, as well as returning shareholder SoftBank, plus Tencent and sovereign wealth funds, contributed a total of $3.6 billion to this latest round. Walmart bought a majority of the company in 2018, for $16 billion, and has been working toward an IPO which could happen next year.

In other retail deal news, Nordstrom bought a minority stake in four brands owned by ASOS, the UK retailer. Nordstrom is going to sell Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and H-I-I-T on its website, and in its 350 stores. ASOS bought those brands in March, following the collapse of Sir Philip Green's retail conglomerate, Arcadia, last year. The financial terms between Nordstrom and ASOS by the way, were not disclosed.

But a latest in Nordstrom's moves, in particular, which have been interesting, to, sort of, branch out beyond its core business, buying things like Trunk Club along the way. Sozz, I know that's something you've been watching, as we've been seeing Nordstrom, sort of, branch out into different businesses.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah right, Julie, and Nordstrom is no stranger to making acquisitions. To your point, in 2014, they bought Trunk Club. They have since re-branded it Nordstrom Trunk Club. They were in front of, I would say, the trend towards subscription services, so they went out and did that.

In February of 2011, they came out and they bought a HauteLook. Now they have since closed down that brand, and integrated that flash sale business model into their Nordstrom Rack business. But overall, it's hard to argue with a company spending, a department store trying to get cooler, trying to reach a younger audience, getting to more fashionable wares, that makes sense to me.

Ultimately, we're talking to Nordstrom CEO, Eric Nordstrom, later in the week. I will ask him all about this and I'll report back to you, Julie.

JULIE HYMAN: Sounds good.