Berkshire Hathaway, Ratan Tata among major investors looking to exit Paytm in record IPO

Most of Paytm’s large backers, including industrialist Ratan Tata, Alibaba, SoftBank and Berkshire Hathaway are looking to sell at least a portion of their shares in the fintech firm’s record initial public offering (IPO), its prospectus revealed.

Paytm is looking to raise Rs 16,600 crore, of which Rs 8,300 crore will be existing investors selling their stakes, filings said.

Its largest investors include China’s Alibaba, which owns 36.8 percent, followed by Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank Vision Fund, which owns 19.6 percent. Early backer SAIF Partners (now Elevation Capital) also owns 17.2 percent across funds.

Paytm’s filings did not specify what portion of their holdings these investors will sell, although it said that founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also plans to sell a portion of the 14.6 percent he owns.

A few days prior, Sharma transferred 5 percent of his shares to VSS Holdings Trust, an investment vehicle he launched last year, an examination of filings indicated.

“The public markets have never been this exuberant, and it is a great opportunity for all of Paytm’s investors to make a lot of money. Many of them weren’t sure where the company would go a few years back. So it makes sense that they would sell,” said a person close to the company, requesting anonymity.

Tata group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, who had picked up a small stake in Paytm in 2015 is also selling his stake. Tata owns 75,000 equity shares, making up less than 0.5 percent of the current company. Tata’s stake is “negligible”, the filings said.

Paytm’s $2.2 billion IPO would surpass Coal India, which raised Rs 15,200 crore in 2010 and has been India’s largest public offering so far. Alibaba is expected to sell a significant portion of its stake, bringing its stake to less than 25 percent and helping Paytm get the status of a ‘Professionally Managed Company’ (PMC). PMC requires every shareholder to own less than 25 percent, Moneycontrol reported on July 15.


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