Grapevine: Mastercard may invest in Airtel units; Practo eyes financial foray
Photo Credit: Reuters

Global payments processor Mastercard is in talks with Airtel Africa for a strategic investment in the latter’s mobile payments business, people in the know told The Economic Times.

They said Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel is also looking to divest up to 25% stake in Airtel Money to Mastercard for $300 million (Rs 2,195 crore) at a valuation of up to $1.3 billion (Rs 9,510 crore).

On the back of a possible Mastercard investment, Airtel may also rope in financial investors, said one of the persons. 

Both companies joined hands last September with Samsung and Asante Financial Services Group to launch a pay-on-demand payments platform to drive the digital economy for underbanked consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa.

A tie-up will give more than 100 million Airtel Africa mobile phone users access to Mastercard’s global network.

Meanwhile, Practo, which connects doctors with patients, is set to foray into financial services, people in the know told Entrackr.

“The company’s board has given approval and Practo may launch the new business line in the next three-four months,” said one of the persons.

Also, top headhunters have begun approaching Tata Motors to pitch for the mandate to find a successor to managing director Guenter Butschek amid speculation that he hasn’t sought an extension of his term ending next month, The Economic Times said.

Butschek has been working out of his home country Austria since the lockdown in 2020 and has not returned to India. He was hired in 2016 from Airbus Group.

This time Tata Motors may appoint an Indian, people aware of the matter said.

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