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Alibaba eyes stake in India’s One97 Communications

MUMBAI: China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its unit Alipay are reportedly in talks to buy a stake worth $550 million in the Indian online payment firm One97 Communications.

The investment by the e-commerce giant is expected to be announced by the end of this month. It will be Alibaba’s first significant investment in India’s rapidly growing online business segment.

Under the terms of the deal, Alibaba and Alipay, controlled by executive chairman Jack Ma, will hold between 30 to 40 per cent stake in One97 Communications after the investment, states Reuters.

It is stated that One97 will issue fresh shares to Alibaba and Alipay, which would result in the holdings of existing shareholders, including founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma being diluted.

As per reports, the investment will be used to expand Paytm services, with a view to dominate the online payment business that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years in India.

One97 runs Paytm, an e-commerce platform which consumers can access through mobile apps, and has over 20 million registered users. Other investors of One97 include SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and SAP Ventures.