Paytm in talks with ADIA, BlackRock for IPO stake


Top US asset manager BlackRock and Japanese financial services group Nomura are in talks to invest in the planned initial share sale of One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of digital payments firm Paytm, two people aware of the matter said.

State-backed wealth investors Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore’s GIC Pte are among those weighing bidding to participate in the IPO, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Global financial firms such as BlackRock Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. are also in discussions to bid, the people said. One97 Communications Ltd., as Paytm is formally known, is considering seeking a valuation of around $20 billion to $22 billion based on initial investor feedback, they said.

India’s market for first-time share sales is surging on debuts of tech firms like Zomato Ltd.’s $1.3 billion offering. The amount of money raised in IPOs this year has reached $10.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the current pace, 2021 would exceed the all-time record of $11.8 billion.

While the draft preliminary prospectus was filed in July, it is still awaiting approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Paytm, backed by SoftBank Group Corp, Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Jack Ma’s Ant Group company, plans to raise 166 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) from its share sale, according to its draft prospectus.

Under the leadership of founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm has expanded beyond digital payments into banking, credit cards, financial services and wealth management. It also supports India’s financial payments backbone, Unified Payments Interface or UPI.

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