IPO-bound Paytm gets shareholders’ nod to more than double its ESOP pool

Photo: Reuters

Initial public offering-bound One97 Communications Ltd, which owns Paytm, has received shareholder approval to expand its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) pool, according to a regulatory filing by the company on Tuesday with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA).

Paytm will now more than double its ESOP pool from 24.09 million equity options to 61.09 million options, regulatory filings showed.

The company had held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 2 September to seek shareholder approval on this.

Paytm had a total paid-up share capital of 605.93 million shares, according to the company’s draft IPO documents, filed in July.

Close to 166 former and current employees had been allotted about 1.01 million shares in the last week of August. This included Paytm’s president Amit Nayyar, who was heading the financial services division at the Noida-based fintech startup and resigned in June this year.

As many as 40 current and former Paytm employees have now converted their ESOP options to 332,360 One97 Communications shares, according to fresh regulatory filings. They include V. Sasiraman, founder of Chennai-based ticketing startup TicketNew, which was acquired in 2018 by Paytm.

“The consent of the members is hereby accorded to alter One97 Employee Stock Option Scheme 2019 (ESOP 2019) by increasing the existing ESOP pool from 24,094,280 equity options to 61,094,280 equity options, and such ESOP pool may further be increased/decreased by approval of the board and/or nomination and remuneration committee and/or shareholders of the company,” said Paytm’s latest regulatory filings.

Earlier, Mint reported, citing people aware of the developments, that roughly 1,000 employees at Paytm have vested 14 million ESOPs.

Directors of the company, including founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and newly appointed directors Mark Schwartz and Neeraj Arora, hold almost 60.55 million shares in Paytm, according to the company’s draft prospectus.

Key managerial personnel, including group chief financial officer Madhur Deora, Paytm’s chief financial officer Vikas Garg and Paytm Games’ chief operating officer Sudhanshu Gupta, among others, hold 1.09 million shares in the company.

Paytm was also in talks with five lenders to help employees borrow money to exercise their stock options before the public listing. The company wanted to help employees pay for buying their vested options and make tax payments if required and was in talks with IIFL, ICICI Securities and Edelweiss Capital for a 100 crore credit line.

In July, One97 Communications sought the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s approval for its 16,600 crore IPO, which is expected to be one of the country’s largest initial share sales to date.

As part of the IPO, India’s second most valuable startup will sell new shares worth 8,300 crore, the company said in its draft share sale documents. In addition, existing shareholders will sell stocks worth another 8,300 crore through the IPO.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.