Berkshire Hathaway Inc invested 25 billion rupees ($356 million) in the Indian company behind digital payments firm Paytm, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deal, in a foray by the conglomerate into India and the financial payments industry.
Billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett`s assistant, Debbie Bosanek, confirmed Berkshire`s investment in India`s One97 Communications Ltd in an email. She said Buffett was not involved in the transaction.
India`s Economic Times reported earlier on Monday that Berkshire was in talks to pick up a 3 percent to 4 percent stake in a deal potentially valuing Paytm at over $10 billion. The report cited people familiar with the matter.
One of Buffett`s key investment deputies, Todd Combs, who is also seen as a potential chief investment officer at Berkshire, is leading the transaction, the newspaper reported. It has been a busy year for Combs, who has also been heading Berkshire`s efforts to start a healthcare joint venture with Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In May, Buffett said at Berkshire`s annual shareholders meeting that the financial payments industry is a huge deal around the world and that many companies are working to reinvent the industry.
His conglomerate, meanwhile, has been under pressure to find significant investments and whittle down a $108.6 billion stockpile of cash.
Japan`s SoftBank and China`s Alibaba Group are among the major backers of Paytm.
One97 Communications, SoftBank and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
($1 = 70.16 Indian rupees)
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)