August 27, 2018 / 2:37 AM / 25 days ago

Berkshire Hathaway in talks to buy stake in India's Paytm -Economic Times

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc is in talks to invest about 20-25 billion rupees ($285.4-356.7 million) in India’s One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of digital payments firm Paytm, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

Berkshire, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, is said to pick up a 3-4 per cent stake in Paytm's parent and the deal is being done through a primary subscription of shares, the paper said citing people familiar with the matter. bit.ly/2LsBzXT

If materialised, it could be the first direct investment in India by Buffett, it said.

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 said.

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. ($1 = 70.0900 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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