Telecom tycoon Sunil Mittal seeking stake in Paytm

Telecom tycoon Sunil Mittal seeking stake in Paytm

Indian telecommunications tycoon Sunil Mittal is seeking a stake in Paytm by merging his financial services unit into the fintech giant’s payments bank, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Mittal seeks to fold Airtel Payments Bank into Paytm Payments Bank in a stocks deal and is also seeking to buy Paytm shares from other holders, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Talks are in early stages and Airtel and Paytm may not reach a deal, the people added. Join Our Instagram Channel

Shares of Paytm, formally known as One 97 Communications Ltd., have rebounded about 40% from its record low in November as it shows signs of turning profitable. The company narrowed its third-quarter loss after a drive to add customers boosted revenue, it said in an exchange filing this month.

“We remain fully focused on our strong organic growth journey and are not involved in any such discussions,” a representative for Paytm said in an email statement. A spokesman for Bharti Enterprises Ltd., controlled by Mittal, declined to comment. Join Our Telegram Channel

Once India’s most valuable startup, Paytm has never traded above its IPO price of 2,150 rupees since its listing in November 2021 and had the worst first-year share plunge among large IPOs over the past decade. The company’s backers include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and China’s Ant Group Co.

Mittal’s six-year-old payments bank had 129 million customers and had turned profitable in the year to March 31, 2022, exchange filings show.

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