India’s most valuable startup, Paytm, is likely moving forward with its planned $3 billion initial public offering (IPO) and sent an offer for sale (OFS) to employees, Bloomberg reported on Monday (June 7), citing a memo it reviewed as well as sources.
Formally called One97 Communications, the Indian startup, which was launched in 2010, alerted its workforce that employees can opt to sell their shares in the IPO or hang on to them, according to the OFS sent to staff.
Employees have the option of selling all or part of their equity shares, an aspect that must be completed before documents can be filed. Unsold equity shares during the IPO would be locked in for a one-year period, the notice said, per Bloomberg.
The Paytm’s board greenlighted, “in principle,” the plans to move forward in what could be the country’s biggest stock market debut, and the preliminary prospectus could be filed in early July, a source told Bloomberg.
Paytm’s debut on the stock market must include a combination of new and existing shares, per India’s regulatory rules, which require that 10 percent of shares are floated in two years and 25 percent within five years, Bloomberg reported.
News first broke last month that Paytm was seeking an IPO that could be India’s biggest public offering to date. The payments startup was hoping to go public in time to coincide with the Diwali festival season that starts November 4 this year. India’s largest IPO so far has been Coal India Ltd. in 2010, which raised more than 150 billion rupees (approximately $2.06 billion).
Paytm President Madhur Deora told PYMNTS Karen Webster in a September interview that the startup began as a payments platform, but that foundation is just the start of developing into an entire end-to-end consumer ecosystem. He said that, in the financial services sector, it licensed Paytm as a bank, an insurance broker, a wealth manager and an equity broker and trader.