Alibaba’s Ant Financial to buy 25 percent of India’s One97 | Reuters

Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), has agreed to buy 25 percent of Indian payment services provider One97 Communications, tapping into the country’s smartphone and online industry boom.

The companies did not provide the value of the deal, but a person with knowledge of the matter called the investment a precursor to One97 listing on the stock exchange, and said the stake was worth more than $500 million.

The deal values One97 at more than $2 billion, making it one of the most-valuable start ups in the country. One97 runs Paytm, an online platform through which users can shop or pay utility bills, whereas Ant runs Paytm’s Chinese peer Alipay.

Alibaba spokeswoman Teresa Li and One97 founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma declined to disclose the value. Sharma told Reuters that Ant would buy new shares in his company.

Paytm has benefited from the spread of affordable handsets and internet connectivity which has turned India into the fastest-growing smartphone market in the Asia-Pacific region, according to researcher IDC.

via Alibaba’s Ant Financial to buy 25 percent of India’s One97 | Reuters.

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