Paytm Said to Have Secured SEBI’s Approval for India’s Biggest IPO

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Digital financial services firm Paytm has received market regulator SEBI’s approval for its Rs 16,600 crores initial public offer, a source involved in the process said on Friday. The company expects to hit the bourses by the end of this month and is planning to skip the pre-IPO share sale rounds to fast-track listing.

“SEBI has given approval for Paytm IPO,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

The company’s plan of shelving the pre-IPO raise is not related to any valuation differences, the source added.

The proposed IPO, if successful, would be the largest such offer. Coal India’s Rs 15,200-crores initial public offer (IPO) in 2010 is the country’s largest one till date.

Paytm is looking at a valuation of Rs 1.47-1.78 lakh crores.

US-based valuation expert Aswath Damodaran, who is a professor specialising in finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University, has valued the unlisted shares of the firm at Rs 2,950 apiece.

According to the draft IPO documents, the company plans to raise Rs 8,300 crores through fresh issue of equity shares and another Rs 8,300 crores through the offer-for-sale route.

Paytm founder, managing director and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Alibaba Group firms will dilute some of their stake in the proposed offer-for-sale.

Alibaba group firm Antfin (Netherlands) Holding BV is expected to sell at least 5 percent stake to bring its shareholding below 25 percent to comply with regulatory requirements, according to a source.

As per the documents, investors selling stake include Antfin (Netherlands) Holding BV (which has a 29.6 percent stake), Alibaba.com Singapore E-Commerce (7.2 percent) and Elevation Capital V FII Holdings (0.7 percent).

Moreover, Elevation Capital V (which has a 0.6 percent stake), SAIF III Mauritius Company (12.1 percent), SAIF Partners India IV (5.1 percent), SVF Panther (Cayman) (1.3 percent) and BH International Holdings (2.8 percent) will also sell stake.

The company has proposed to use Rs 4,300 crores for growing and strengthening the Paytm ecosystem, including through acquisition of consumers and merchants and providing them with greater access to technology and financial services.

Paytm plans to earmark Rs 2,000 crores for business initiatives, acquisitions and strategic partnerships and up to 25 percent of the total fund raised through the IPO for general corporate purposes.

According to the documents, Paytm’s merchant base grew to 2.11 crores as on March 31, 2021 from 1.12 crores in March 2019, and gross merchandise value (GMV) almost doubled to over Rs 4 lakh crores in the financial year (FY) from Rs 2.29 lakh crores in FY 2019.

The company has reported a narrowing of its loss to Rs 1,704 crores in FY21, from Rs 2,943.3 crore in FY20 and Rs 4,235.5 crores in FY19.

Total income declined to Rs 3,186.8 crores in FY21, from Rs 3,540.7 crores in FY20.

Paytm has reported negative cash flow of Rs 222.1 crores in FY21 primarily due to operating losses and additional working capital requirement.


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