Paytm is truly an Indian company, driving payments and financial services for Indian consumers and merchants. A recent change in the shareholding of the company, further shows how Paytm is now completely Indian.
With Antfin‘s shareholding reducing to 9.90% in One97 Communications Limited (OCL) the parent company of Paytm, its Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has become the sole Significant Beneficial Owner (SBO). With this, Ant is no longer a SBO in the mobile payments pioneer.
The company today notified the stock exchanges of ‘change in significant beneficial ownership’ pursuant to Rule 3 (2) of the Companies (Significant Beneficial Owners) Amendment Rules, 2019. The total share capital of Sharma in OCL, both direct and indirect, is 19.42% making him the sole SBO of the company. However, Paytm remains a professionally managed company with no identified promoter. As per Indian laws, for anyone to be identified as a promoter, the shareholding has to be above 25%.
Antfin’s total shareholding in Paytm has significantly reduced from 23.79% in the last few weeks after it sold 10.3% stake to Resilient Asset Management B.V., an overseas entity 100% owned by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. This was followed by sale of another 3.6% in block deals.
Analysts believe that Sharma becoming the SBO, this will remove the Chinese overhang from Paytm’s stock. An earlier report by BofA Securities said that buying of this stake by Sharma “indicates his confidence in the story with a ‘skin in the game’ approach show”. It added saying that this reduces the risk of some other strategic investor coming who would have a major stake like Sharma’s.
The global brokerage firm further said,“We believe a Chinese shareholder (Antfin) ceasing to be the largest shareholder, would also directionally be positive for the company fundamentals.”
Analysts believe that this will also be a positive for Paytm in terms of regulatory matters.