After talks with Bharti Airtel fell through, Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Group and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp may offload stakes in One97 Communications Paytm in the open market. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman of India’s second-largest telecom operator Airtel, was previously reported to be looking to buy a stake in Paytm by merging his financial services unit with Paytm’s payments bank.
According to Bloomberg, Mittal was looking to merge Airtel Payments Bank into Paytm Payments Bank in a stock deal and was interested in buying Paytm shares from other holders, according to sources.
The talks are still in their early stages, and Airtel and Paytm may not reach an agreement.
Earlier this month, Alibaba Group exited Paytm by selling its remaining stake for approximately Rs 1,378 crore. According to Reuters, SoftBank also sold a 4.5 percent stake in Paytm in block deals for approximately $200 million.
Paytm shares, which hit a high of Rs 655.30 earlier today, pared intraday gains. Later, the stock was trading at Rs 639.70, up 2.64 percent. Bharti Airtel Ltd’s shares, on the other hand, were trading at Rs 744.30, down 1.70 percent.
Paytm shares have risen 20% in 2023 so far, as the fintech giant reported consolidated losses of Rs 392 crore in the December quarter, down from a loss of Rs 778.50 crore the previous year. Paytm’s operating revenue increased 42 percent to Rs 2,062 crore in the December quarter, compared to 1,456 crores in the same quarter last year.
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