Berkshire Hathaway invested Rs. 25 billion ($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.
Berkshire said the policy frees Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger to repurchase stock when the price was below Berkshire's "intrinsic value", a determination that would be made "conservatively". This would be Buffett's first India investment, valuing the company at around $10-12bn.
Berkshire Hathaway joins Ant Financial, SoftBank, Alibaba, and SAIF Partners as key shareholders in Paytm.
It will also add more muscle to Paytm's operations as it competes against rivals like PhonePe and Google's Tez.
The investment comes ahead of the introduction of payments services by WhatsApp in India.
Paytm, which has been aggressively diversifying its business into areas like investment management and e-commerce through various entities, had registered losses to the tune of Rs 899.6 crore in 2016-17. It has seen manifold growth in transactions on its platform as well as expansion in number of users.
One97 also owns 49 per cent stake in Paytm Payments Bank.