FreeCharge had signed a non-exclusive term sheet with Paytm earlier this month.

After Paytm and MobiKwik Bank of Baroda Times Internet in the fray to acquire FreeCharge
Atom Digital Payments Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 12:42

There seem to be a lot of takers for Sanpdeal’s payments arm FreeCharge. After reports that MobiKwik and Paytm are looking to buyout FreeCharge, MoneyControl now reports that the digital wallets player is in talks with Bank of Baroda (BOB) and Times Internet for an all-cash acquisition.

FreeCharge had signed a non-exclusive term sheet with Paytm earlier this month. And this meant that Snapdeal could hawk FreeCharge to other buyers as well.

While the deal size with Paytm was expected to be in the range of $45 million-90 million, the deal size with BOB or Times Internet could be in the range of $60 million -75 million.

BOB launched its mobile wallet service last year with M-Clip and if this deal goes through, it will give it access to FreeCharge’s large customer base.

FactorDaily reports that Times Internet, on the other hand may be looking at this acquisition for more opportunities to monetize in the online payments and shopping space. In the ecommerce and online space, Times Internet has ventures like Indiatimes Shopping, Gaana and Cricbuzz etc.

Negotiations are reportedly on to ensure all of Freecharge’s 200-250 employees are absorbed by the firm that acquires the company.

Snapdeal acquired FreeCharge in April 2015 for nearly $500 million.

It forecasted seven million daily transactions and gross merchandise transactions of Rs 20,000 crore by the end of FY17. However, it has estimated to have recorded only Rs 300 crore in transaction revenue and about 12 million in volume in April, while its biggest rival Paytm claims to have clocked 255 million transactions till April 26.

This development comes at a time when FreeCharge’s parent Snapdeal too, is in the process of being sold to rival Flipkart. While due diligence is underway, Snapdeal could be valued at about $1 billion post the deal.

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