Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc is all set to buy a stake in Paytm’s parent organisation One97 Communications Ltd which is reported to cost the American business magnate over Rs 2,000-2,500 crore ($300-350 million). This is going to be the first investment of Buffett in an Indian company. According to reports, the mega-million deal is likely to be finalised within the next two weeks.
Berkshire Hathaway and One97 Communications are reported looking to wrap the deal under the covers without making much hullaballoo of it in the market. When both the companies were approached to make a comment, they stayed coy over the matter and refused to reveal any details.
It is also being said that if Warren Buffett goes ahead with this deal, it will be his maiden investment in a privately-held technology company in the world. It should be noted that Berkshire Hathaway earlier held a stake in International Business Machines (IBM), which is a publicly listed technology company, but exited it after a while. Buffett continues to own a stake in another publicly listed firm Apple.
Warren Buffett had entered the Indian market in 2011 in collaboration with Bajaj Allianz but ended the partnership two years later due to excessive regulations in the country.
Ever since then there has been much talk of Warren Buffett again entering the Indian market and if the deal with Paytm’s parent company materialises, it can bring about revolutionary changes to the Indian internet and technology industry.
Paytm, which is the largest payment services provider in the country, already has a star-studded list of investors in China’s Alibaba, Japan’s SoftBank Group and Ant Financial.