Chinese multinational technology company specialising in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology, Alibaba Group, is reported to have sold a 3.1 per cent stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for a total of Rs1,031 crore ($125 million) through a block deal on Thursday, stock exchange data showed.
Alibaba, Singapore sold 19.2 million shares in One 97 Communications Ltd (Paytm) at Rs536.95 apiece, comprising nearly half of the 6.26 per cent stake it held in Paytm as of end-September, according to block deal data on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Of the total shares sold, Morgan Stanley Asia bought 5.5 million shares and Ghisallo Master Fund acquired 4.98 million shares while the remaing shares were bought by unnamed buyers.
As per the information available on NSE website, Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) has bought 54,95,000 Paytm shares at Rs534.80 per share on the same day.
Morgan Stanley executed the deal on 12 January 2023 through bulk deal.
Alibaba group firm Ant Financial held 24.88 per cent of the company. It is not known if the sale is part of a planned stake reduction.
It may be noted that the stake reduction comes at a time when China has acquired minority stakes with special rights in two domestic units of tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as part of Beijing’s campaign to strengthen control over online content.
Beijing has been taking ‘golden shares’ in private online media and content companies for more than five years, and in recent years expanding such arrangements to companies with vast troves of data.
Shares of Paytm declined 6.2 per cent to close at Rs543.20 on Thursday. Alibaba held a 6.26 per cent stake in Paytm as of end-September.
Alibaba had, earlier, sold shares in BigBasket and Zomato as well.