SoftBank To Offload More Stake In Zomato As Blinkit Shares Lock-In Ends

SoftBank To Offload More Stake In Zomato As Blinkit Shares Lock-In Ends

SoftBank is reportedly considering the sale of additional shares in leading foodtech company Zomato through block deals. This move comes as the lock-in period for shares acquired through the Blinkit deal is set to end on August 25, according to sources.

Upon the expiration of the lock-in period, the Zomato shares obtained during the Blinkit deal will become available for trading starting August 28. SoftBank, a participant in the Blinkit deal, acquired Zomato shares following the acquisition of the quick-commerce player in August the previous year. These shares were subject to a 12-month lock-in period, and the Blinkit deal granted SoftBank a 3.35% stake in Zomato.

With speculation swirling around SoftBank’s potential share offload, Zomato’s stock experienced a decline of up to 3.5% during intraday trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange today. As of 2 PM IST, Zomato’s shares were trading at INR 90.72, marking a 3.3% decrease.

SoftBank is expected to reap profits by selling shares of Zomato, given the implied value of the shares it acquired during the Blinkit deal, which was INR 70.76 per share.

The Japanese investment giant has been actively pursuing opportunities to secure profits and divest its shares in several Indian companies, including Paytm, Zomato, and Delhivery. While SoftBank has already sold off some stake in Paytm, its Zomato holdings dropped from 3.36% at the end of March to 3.35% by the conclusion of June 2023.

Apart from SoftBank, two other notable venture capital firms, Sequoia and Tiger Global, also received Zomato shares in connection with Blinkit’s acquisition by the foodtech major.

In a separate development, a block deal today saw 51 Lakh Zomato shares change hands at a price of INR 91.8 per share.

Benefitting from Zomato’s improved financial performance, including its attainment of profitability in the quarter ending June 2023, the foodtech startup’s shares have been on an upward trajectory since the close of March this year. These shares have surged over 50% year-to-date.

Additionally, Zomato’s contribution to SoftBank Vision Fund’s loss saw a decline to $46 Mn at the close of June 30, 2023, from $131 Mn at the end of March 31, 2023.

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