Exclusive-China’s Alipay to sell its stake in India’s Zomato for nearly $400 million -sources

By M. Sriram

MUMBAI (Reuters) -Chinese payments group Alipay plans to sell its 3.4% stake in Indian food delivery giant Zomato for nearly $400 million through block deals on Indian stock exchanges, according to three sources and a Reuters review of the deal’s term sheet.

Alipay, owned by Ant Group, will offload its entire 3.44% stake in the deal, the term sheet seen by Reuters showed.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley are advisers on the deal, which is likely to be executed later this week on Indian exchanges, said the three sources, who declined to be named as the plan is private.

Zomato, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alipay also did not respond outside regular business hours.

Zomato shares have surged more than 90% this year, after falling by more than half in 2022 when tech stocks struggled around the world.

Alipay “wants to cash out … the (market) timing is good,” said the first source, referring to the rapid rise in Zomato’s shares in recent months.

The block deals are set to be executed at 111.28 rupees per share, a 2.2% discount to Zomato’s close on Tuesday, the term sheet said.

In October, Japan’s SoftBank sold a 1.1% stake in Zomato, which is India’s biggest food delivery service. Demand for online ordering has rapidly grown in recent years, prompting companies like Zomato to aggressively expand.

Alipay’s exit from Zomato comes as other Chinese investors have been paring their stakes in Indian companies. In August, China’s Antfin sold a 10.3% stake in Indian financial giant Paytm.

Tech stocks such as Zomato have staged a rebound after a drubbing last year amid a market meltdown, when investors also raised questions about sky-high valuations of some Indian startups that had made their stock market debut in recent years.

(Reporting by M. Sriram; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Susan Fenton)