Paytm stake to be reduced by Jack Ma backed Ant Group


According to some insider news of the people, One 97 Communications Ltd. has been discussing options to reduce its stake in the Chinese fintech giant after its share percentage increased passively as a result of share buybacks, the sources said, asking not to be identified as the situation is private.

It has been reported that the Ant Group Co. might sell shares in Paytm, the operator of an Indian financial technology company, in order to maintain its holdings within a required level, according to people familiar with the matter.

The people have requested anonymity and their identity not to be reveled as because the matter is private. They have said that the Chinese fintech giant has been discussing options for reducing its stake in One 97 Communications Ltd. after its share percentage increased passively due to share buybacks, the people said.

The talks are still at an early stage and the details could change depending on regulatory and pricing concerns, the people said. In response to emailed requests for comment, Ant did not respond immediately. Paytm declined to comment on the matter.

As the e-commerce giant pared back its investments in India amid growing geopolitical tensions, Ant affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is now reviewing its investment in Paytm. These discussions follow the sale of Ant affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s stake in Paytm. They added that Ant’s sale would be a technical one and not a political one, as it would be for technical reasons.

Paytm stake to be reduced by Jack Ma-backed Ant Group
Paytm stake to be reduced by Jack Ma-backed Ant Group

According to one of the people who spoke to us, Ant held 24.86% of One 97 at the end of December, but its holdings increased above 25% after the repurchase reduced the number of shares that were outstanding. After the completion of the Ant buyback on Feb. 13, Ant will have a 90-day window in which it can reduce its stake in the company. During the month of December, One 97 announced a buyback of up to 8.5 billion rupees ($100 million) of its shares.

According to people with knowledge of the matter, Indian tycoon Sunil Mittal is considering merging his financial services unit with Paytm’s payments bank in the hope of gaining a stake in the fintech company. Ant plans to pull back, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Mittal is reportedly looking to fold Airtel Payments Bank into Paytm Payments Bank in a stock deal, and he is also looking at buying shares of Paytm from other holders as well, according to people who asked not to be identified since the conversation is confidential. The talks are still at an early stage, and it is possible that Airtel and Paytm will not be able to reach a deal at this time.

There has been an investment by Ant in ten fintech wallets outside of mainland China with the aim of building a network of payment services across Asia as a result of their investment.

It is anticipated that Ant will receive approval to apply for a financial holding company license in China, which will enable the company to continue operating its fintech business in the country. Regulatory officials have recently approved a capital increase for the firm’s consumer lending affiliate, which is a sign that progress is being made.

Jack Ma, The billionaire who has largely remained out of the public eye for the past few years, has said that he will cede control of Ant as part of a broader retreat within the company, but still holds shares in it.

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