SoftBank to sell $215 mn worth stake in Paytm as lock-in ends: Reports

According to reports, SoftBank invested some $1.6 billion in Paytm. It took out up to $250 million in the company's IPO in November last year.
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BENGALURU: Beleaguered Japanese SoftBank Group is likely to sell shares worth around $215 million in financial payments major Paytm's parent company via a block deal this week, the media reported on Wednesday.

CNBC-TV18 reported, citing sources, that the Japanese investor is offering to sell 29 million shares in the digital payments and financial services company at Rs 601.45 apiece.

The move comes as Paytm's lock-in for pre-IPO investors ends later this week.

At Rs 601, Paytm's shares are currently trading at least 70 per cent below its IPO price.

According to reports, SoftBank invested some $1.6 billion in Paytm. It took out up to $250 million in the company's IPO in November last year.

The Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank's remaining stake in the Indian fintech major is about $900 million.

Battered by heavy losses, Masayoshi Son-run SoftBank is also reportedly laying off at least 30 per cent of employees at its loss-making Vision Fund.

The Japanese giant suffered losses running into billions of dollars in the past two quarters this year.

SoftBank recorded net loss of 5.3 trillion yen (nearly $40 billion) in total for the first six months of the year.

Earlier this week, Paytm posted 76 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in revenue to Rs 1,914 crore in Q2FY23, while EBITDA before ESOP cost improved 61 per cent YoY by Rs 259 crore.

On a quarterly basis, Paytm's net losses reduced by 11 per cent.

The company has reported robust traction across all its businesses, which has helped it achieve stronger revenue growth, with improvement in EBITDA before ESOP cost (improvement of Rs 200 crore in the last two quarters).

Paytm's rapid expansion in loan distribution has become the main catalyst for its financial services revenue, which now accounts for 18 per cent of the company's total revenue, compared to 8 per cent in Q2FY22. Total revenue from the financial services business stood at Rs 349 crore, up 293 per cent YoY and 29 per cent QoQ.

The company further added that it sees "a long growth runway ahead" in the loan distribution business (Paytm postpaid, personal loans, merchant loans).

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