Berkshire Hathaway Inc has picked up a Rs 2500 crore ($356 million) stake in the parent of digital payments firm Paytm, a source said, its first investment in an Indian startup as it forays into the financial payments sector.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, who runs the conglomerate, was not involved in the transaction, according to the emailed statement from Buffett’s assistant, Debbie Bosanek, a Reuters report said.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc was in talks to invest about Rs 2,000-2,500 crore in Vijay Shekhar Sharma's Paytm, news reports said earlier.
Berkshire, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, is said to pick up a 3-4 percent stake in Paytm’s parent and the deal is being done through a primary subscription of shares, The Economic Times said citing people familiar with the matter.
One of Berkshire’s key fund managers, Todd Combs, who is also seen as a potential chief investment officer at the company, is leading the transaction, the newspaper reported.
Berkshire’s investment could be clinched in the coming weeks, valuing Paytm at over $10 billion, the paper had said earlier.
It will also be the company’s first investment in a privately-held technology company in the world. In the past, Berkshire Hathaway has selectively invested in some publicly listed tech companies, most notably International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. and Apple. Berkshire recently exited IBM, but still owns Apple stock, Mint reported.
Japan’s SoftBank and China’s Alibaba Group are among the major backers of Paytm.
Berkshire, One97 Communications, Softbank and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment, a Reuters report had earlier said.
Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 12:05 PM