This Article is From Mar 16, 2022

SoftBank's Munish Varma Exits From Boards of Paytm, PB Fintech

Softbank managing partner Munish Ravinder Varma has resigned from Paytm and PB Fintech boards, according to regulatory filings by both companies.

SoftBank's Munish Varma Exits From Boards of Paytm, PB Fintech

Softbank representative Munish Varma resigns from Paytm, PB Fintech boards

Softbank managing partner Munish Ravinder Varma has resigned from the board of the digital financial services company One97 Communications, which operates under the Paytm brand, and PB Fintech, according to regulatory filings by both companies on Tuesday.

A separate report on Tuesday by Reuters quoting a source with direct knowledge of the matter showed the representatives of SoftBank would step down from the boards of Paytm and Policybazaar. But there would be no change in the investment made by Softbank in these companies.

The decision is part of SoftBank's global strategy to exit from the boards of most of its listed portfolio companies, said the source, adding that the Japanese tech conglomerate expected it would leave fewer regulatory issues to tackle.

Softbank Vision Funds India Holdings (Cayman) holds a 17.47 per cent stake in Paytm.

"Munish Ravinder Varma, Non-executive, Non-Independent Director of the Company, has tendered his resignation vide resignation letter dated March 14, 2022, with effect from the closure of business hours on March 14, 2022, due to personal commitments and other preoccupations," Paytm said in a regulatory filing.

PB Fintech, which owns brands like Policy Bazaar, Paisa Bazaar, also announced the resignation of Mr Varma from its board. Softbank holds a 5.77 per cent stake in PB Fintech.

Japanese investor Softbank is pulling out its representative from the boards of Indian listed entities Paytm and Policy Bazaar as part of its global policy.

"As part of global policy, Softbank's representative will step down from the board of listed companies in India. There are two Indian entities in this case- Paytm and Policy Bazaar. These companies have been informed about the decision," another source aware of the development told PTI.

The source also told PTI that Softbank, in 90 per cent of the portfolio companies globally, has exited within six months.

The share price of Paytm's parent company, One 97 Communications Ltd, dipped by another 10 per cent on Tuesday, hitting a new all-time low. 

The script has tumbled by over 20 per cent in the last two days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred Paytm Payments Bank from onboarding new customers.

Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank and asked it to appoint an IT audit firm to conduct a comprehensive system audit of its IT system.

The company's market capitalisation slipped below ₹ 40,000 crores for the first time. On the day of its stock market debut on November 18, 2021, the market capitalisation of One 97 Communications Ltd stood at ₹ 1.01 lakh crore. 

In less than four months, the company has lost over ₹ 60,000 crores in market capitalisation.