Vijay Shekhar Sharma gets nearly half of new shares as Paytm doubles its ESOP pool ahead of IPO

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma gets nearly half of new shares as Paytm doubles its ESOP pool ahead of IPO
BCCL
  • Paytm has decided to double its employee stock option to provide more shares to its workforce.
  • Almost half of the recently expanded pool would go to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, as per a source aware of the matter.
  • Sharma currently owns about 15% shareholdings in the company and new options will offer him an additional 2-3% shares.
One97 Communication, the parent company of digital payment giant Paytm, has decided to double its employee stock option plan (ESOPs) pool in order to provide more shares to the employees working in the soon to be listed company.

Paytm’s founder and chief executive officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been allocated additional stock options as well, which will increase his shareholdings by another 2-3%, as per a source aware of the development. Notably, Sharma currently owns about 15% shareholdings in the company and is planning to sell a part of it in the upcoming initial public offering (IPO).

One 97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, filed the preliminary papers for its ₹16,600 crore ($2.2 billion) IPO in July 2021. According to multiple media reports, Paytm is seeking a $25 billion to $30 billion valuation post this public issue.

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The source also told Business Insider that this is the first time that Sharma has been allocated any ESOPs ever since the inception of the company. “Vijay, in the past, had given 4% of his equity before forming Paytm to the ESOP pool creation of the company. So technically till sometime, before now, people got their own shares as their esops,” the person added.

Business Insider could not independently verify this claim. We have reached out to Paytm seeking an official clarification on the details of the ESOP pool.

Meanwhile, an Economic Times report noted that the company has almost doubled its ESOPs pool, from 240.9 million to 610.9 million with a face value of ₹1 each. Almost half of it has been allocated to Sharma, the report added citing an unnamed source.

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Sharma became the youngest billionaire in India with a networth of $1.3 billion within a span of six years, from 2011 to 2017. As of September 2021, his networth stands at a whopping $2.4 billion.

The company has also formalised three appointments to its board of directors. This includes former chief business officer of WhatsApp Neeraj Arora and managing partner of Saama Capital Ashit Ranjit Lilani as non-executive independent director, and senior vice president at investor Ant Group Douglas Feagin as a director.

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