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Berkshire Hathaway eyes stake in Paytm; Amazon may invest in Future Group
Photo Credit: Manni Das/VCCircle

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is in talks to invest Rs 2,000-2,500 crore in One97 Communications in a deal that could value the Paytm parent at over $10 billion, said reports.

Citing a person, The Economic Times reported that Berkshire is in discussions to pick up a 3-4% stake through primary infusion.

If the deal goes through, this would be Berkshire's first direct investment in India.

Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank and Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba are among the major investors in Paytm.

In another development, Amazon India is in talks with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group to invest $600-700 million for a 12-15% stake, Business Standard reported, citing people aware of the development.

The two companies have signed a term sheet, the report added.

Amazon may invest in Future Retail, which operates retail chains under Big Bazaar and Hypercity and runs electronics chain Ezone.

Over the past few years, Future Group has acquired a number of retail chains across the country, including Raheja’s Hypercity Retail in 2017, convenience store chain Big Apple in 2012, and Nilgiri’s, a south India-based chain, in November 2014.

Separately, Hyderabad-based GVK Group is in advanced discussions with at least four suitors to sell a significant minority stake in Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd (MIAL), Mint reported.

Citing two people, the report said the potential bidders include Singapore’s Changi Airport, German airport operator AviAlliance, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

GVK is looking to raise Rs 4,000- 6,000 crore from the stake sale, according to the report.

The deadline for submitting non-binding offers is 10 September, according to the report.

Also, South Africa’s Bidvest Group is looking to sell its entire 13.5% stake in MIAL.

Citing a person, The Economic Times reported that Blackstone, TPG, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Brookfield along with Changi Airport and Dubai Airports are among the contenders for Bidvest Group’s stake in MIAL.

Bidvest could sell stake for $300-350 million (Rs 2,100-2,500 crore), valuing MIAL at Rs 15,000-18,000 crore, according to the report.

In 2011, GVK Group had bought a 13.5% stake in MIAL from Bidvest Group for $231 million (Rs 1,140 crore).

MIAL is a consortium which operates the Mumbai international airport and won the bid to develop Rs 16,000 crore Navi Mumbai International Airport. 

GVK holds 50.5% in the MIAL through GVK Airport Holdings. Bidvest holds 13.5% stake and Airports Company South Africa holds 10% stake. The remaining 26% stake is held by Airports Authority of India.

In 2017, GVK Power & Infrastructure sold its remaining 10% stake in Bangalore International Airport to India-born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa-led Fairfax group for Rs 1,290 crore ($200 million).

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