Back in February, we reported how Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital was contemplating selling its 1 per cent shareholding in the Delhi NCR-based payment and commerce company Paytm to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. And now comes the news, that the deal has been inked.
Reliance Capital has reportedly sold its share in Paytm to Alibaba and its payments affiliate Ant Financial for a whopping amount of Rs 275 crores.
It is important to note here, that Reliance Group’s financial services arm had spent just Rs 10 crore for this stake in Paytm. The company made this investment seven years ago in the year 2010 just ahead of the proposed IPO for Paytm parent company, One97 Communications, which was aborted at a later stage.
Reliance Capital, which is a constituent of CNX Nifty Junior and MSCI Global Small Cap Index, is a part of the Reliance Group. It is amongst India’s leading and most valuable financial services companies in the private sector. Over the last couple of months, the industry rumour mill was hot with rumours that the company is in talks with a lot of potential buyers for the sale of its 1 per cent share in Paytm. The partial sale of its stake ended up churning out over 25 times the gains for the ADAG Group firm.
Alibaba and Ant Financial’s move to buy Reliance Capital’s 1 per cent stake in Paytm is a well thought out move. The two companies together own a 40% stake in One 97 Communication, Paytm’s parent company. The two had most recently hiked their stake in the online retail unit when Alibaba Group led a whopping $200 million round in Paytm E-commerce, which was recently demerged from One 97. Paytm E-commerce has been modelled after Alibaba’s famous digital platform TMall.
Not only Alibaba and Ant Financial, but there are several other suitors in the industry which are vying for a secondary stake in Paytm’s parent company One 97 Communications, which is currently valued at $4.8 billion. However, unfortunately, it is all talks and no action for them till now.
Prior to this, Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had recently sold his 1 per cent holding in One97 Communications to raise about Rs 325 crore. The money has been put into the group’s payments bank operations which are expected to commence by the end of this month.