SoftBank Sells 2% Stake in Paytm Worth $120 Million

SoftBank Group posted a full-year loss of $7.2 billion due to technical problems.

SoftBank informed stock exchanges that it had sold a little more than 2% of Paytm parent One97 Communications Limited to comply with SEBI’s takeover rules.

Data from the stock exchange showed that SoftBank-owned SVF India Holdings (Cayman) Ltd had sold 13,103,148 shares between February 10, 2023, and May 8, 2023, or about 2.07% of its total holdings.

The deal is worth nearly $120 million, according to sources. After the sale, SoftBank will hold approximately 11.17% of Paytm or approximately 70,809,082 shares.

“SVF India Holdings (Cayman) Limited disposed of a total of 13,103,148 equity interests in One 97 Communications Limited in a series of disposals between February 10, 2023, and May 8, 2023, and on May 8, 2023, in breach of the 2% threshold stipulated in Regulation 29(2) of the SEBI Takeovers Regulations,” the document, dated May 10, 2023, said.

In November 2022, the investment giant sold about a 4.5% stake in Paytm for Rs 1,631 crore in an open market transaction.

Media reports also suggest Ant Group, another Paytm stakeholder, is considering cutting some of its stake in the fintech major to comply with SEBI guidelines.

SoftBank invested $1.6 billion in Paytm in the last quarter of 2017 and sold $220 million in shares in its IPO.

The sale is part of a series of divestitures SoftBank has undertaken over the past few months. Recently, SoftBank sold a nearly 5% stake in Policybazaar’s parent company PB Fintech in a block deal worth Rs 1,043 crore on the NSE.

Last week, Paytm’s consolidated net loss narrowed sharply to Rs 168.4 crore in Q4FY23 from a loss of Rs 761.4 crore in Q4 last year.

Paytm’s operating income in Q4FY23 was Rs 2,334.5 crore, up 51.5% from Rs 1,540.9 crore in Q4FY22 and 13.2% from Rs 2,062.2 crore in Q3FY23.

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