BlackRock, Canada Pension bought more Paytm shares after rout; stock still at discount to IPO price

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November 25, 2021 11:00 AM

BlackRock Inc. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board were among so-called anchor investors in the IPO that bought more Paytm shares.

Paytm share pricePaytm’s early tumble ranked among the worst debuts by a major technology company since the dot-com bubble era of the late 1990s.

By Suvashree Ghosh and Baiju Kalesh

Several of the biggest investors in Paytm’s record-breaking initial public offering added to their stakes in the Indian fintech giant after shares plunged by as much as 41%, according to people familiar with the matter.  BlackRock Inc. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board were among so-called anchor investors in the IPO that bought more Paytm shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

The stock climbed for a third day on Thursday, rallying as much as 7% to Rs 1,875 in early Mumbai trading. That’s still a fair distance away from its issue price of Rs 2,150 per share. The size of this week’s purchases by anchor investors couldn’t immediately be learned. Representatives for BlackRock and CPPIB declined to comment.

Paytm’s early tumble ranked among the worst debuts by a major technology company since the dot-com bubble era of the late 1990s. Any sign that influential money managers like BlackRock are doubling down on the company may help ease concern about the sustainability of an Indian stock-market boom that has lured $17 billion of foreign inflows over the past year and stoked a trading frenzy among local individual investors.

While Paytm’s shareholders include big-name investors like Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp., some analysts have questioned the company’s valuation and path to profitability. Macquarie Capital Securities (India) Ltd. has a price target of 1,200 rupees, about 32% lower than the stock’s closing level on Wednesday.

Paytm Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who made no secret of his desire for his company to surpass the long-standing IPO record set by Coal India Ltd. in 2010, said last week that the stock’s early tumble was “no indicator of the value of our company.”  “We are in it for the long haul,” Sharma said in an interview. “We’ll put our heads down and execute.” 

The $2.5 billion offering by Paytm, formally known as One 97 Communications Ltd., was arranged by banks including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Axis Capital, ICICI Securities, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and HDFC Bank Ltd.

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