Vijay Shekhar Sharma to buy a 10.3% stake in Paytm from Antfin for $628 mn
As per the filing to the stock exchanges, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder, MD, and CEO of the company) and Antfin Holding B.V. have entered into an agreement on August 7, 2023, whereby China’s Ant Financial Services company, Antfin, will transfer 65,335,101 shares of the company (Paytm) through an off-market transfer to an entity 100% owned by Mr. Sharma, Resilient Asset Management B.V. The total number of transaferable shares implies 10.30% of the share capital of Paytm. The value of the 10.30% stake from the previous closing date amounts to $628 million.
As per the filing, no cash payment will be made for this acquisition, and neither will any pledge, guarantee, or other value assurance be provided by Mr. Sharma, directly or otherwise. Resilient Asset Management will issue Optionally Convertible Debentures (OCDs) to Antfin, which in turn will allow Antfin to retain the economic value of the 10.30% stake.
The resultant transaction will make Vijay Shekhar Sharma the biggest shareholder of the tech giant and consequently increase his total holding in Paytm (directly or indirectly) to 19.42 percent, while Antfin's shareholding will reduce to 13.5%. Softbank Group Corp. has also been reducing its stake in Paytm through open market deals, with its shareholding reduced to 9.18% after its recent deal.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma in a note said, "I am proud of Paytm's role as a true champion of made-in-India financial innovation. Sharma expressed his sincere gratitude to Ant for their unwavering support and partnership over the past several years.
Paytm, a pioneer in the digital payments space, developed the QR code-based payment method and became the first to introduce this groundbreaking technology to in-store merchants throughout India. The company has experienced a new life since the introduction of voice soundboxes. The soundbox provides convenience for mobile merchants as it provides instant audio confirmation to merchants when a payment is made through a Paytm QR code, building trust between merchants and customers.
In recent times, Paytm has launched two more innovative payment devices that are 4G enabled: the Paytm Pocket Soundbox and the Paytm Music Soundbox. The first-of-its-kind portable device, Paytm Pocket Soundbox, can fit in the pocket and empowers merchants who are always on the move with instant audio payment alerts. Paytm Music Soundbox doubles up as a speaker that issues payment notifications and can also be connected to the phone to play music through Bluetooth.
The stock made 9 percent gap up opening and at the time of reporting is trading at Rs. 842.