Adani Group Explores Stake Acquisition in Paytm’s Parent Company, One97 Communications


New Delhi: Adani Group, led by Chairman Gautam Adani, is actively pursuing a stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm. Reports indicate that Adani and Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma recently met in Ahmedabad to discuss the contours of a potential deal. If successful, this move would mark Adani Group’s entry into the fintech sector, positioning it as a competitor against giants like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Jio Financial.

Key Details:

  1. Meeting and Negotiations:
  • The meeting between Adani and Sharma focused on finalizing the deal, with discussions ongoing for some time.
  • Adani Group is also engaging with West Asian funds to attract them as investors in One97, a company that has been at the forefront of mobile payments in India.
  1. Stake Ownership:
  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma currently holds approximately 19% stake in One97, valued at Rs 4,218 crore based on the closing price of Paytm shares (Rs 342 per share) on Tuesday.
  • Sharma’s stake includes a direct 9% ownership in Paytm and an additional 10% through Resilient Asset Management, a foreign entity.
  • Other major shareholders of One97 include private equity fund SAIF Partners (15%), Antfin Netherlands (founded by Jack Ma) with a 10% stake, and the company’s directors (collectively owning 9%).
  1. Regulatory Implications:
  • As per SEBI norms, an acquirer holding less than 25% stake in a target company must make an open offer for a minimum of 26% stake in the company. The acquirer also has the option to make an open offer for the entire share capital of the company.
  1. Significance:
  • If the deal materializes, it will be a notable acquisition for Adani Group, following its previous purchases of Ambuja Cements and NDTV.
  • One97’s IPO in 2007 was the second largest in the country, highlighting its prominence in the Indian market.

Adani Group’s potential stake acquisition in Paytm’s parent company is a significant development in the fintech landscape, with implications for both companies and investors alike.