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Movie Tickets & Popcorn? Know Why Zomato Eyes Paytm Deal

Movie night with dinner & popcorn ordered all at once? Zomato is in talks to buy Paytm's movie ticketing business in a Rs 1,500 cr deal! Could this mean a one-stop shop for entertainment & food delivery? Will this be a blockbuster deal for both? Read on!

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Swati Dayal
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Imagine this, movie night made even easier. Do you buy your movie tickets using Paytm? Picture this – soon, you won't just be booking your seats for the latest blockbuster; you'll also be ordering your favorite snacks, all from the comfort of your home, using a single app.

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Food delivery giant Zomato and fintech major Paytm are in advanced discussions for a potential Rs 1,500 crore deal involving Paytm's movie ticketing and events business. This move could significantly impact both companies' trajectories.

On June 16, Zomato acknowledged the ongoing negotiations in a communication to the stock exchanges. While acknowledging the discussions, they clarified, "no binding decision has been taken at this stage."

Reasons Why Zomato Wants to Acquire Paytm's Movie Ticketing Business?

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Strategic Fit for Zomato's "Going Out" Expansion

  • This development comes at a time when Paytm hones in on its core businesses of payments and financial services. Simultaneously, Zomato is poised to capitalize on the growing consumer demand in the going-out and entertainment segments. It is also investing Rs 300 crore in Blinkit , its quick commerce arm. 
  • Zomato's interest in Paytm's ticketing business aligns with their plan to strengthen their "going out" offerings, encompassing food, groceries, and entertainment sectors.
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Zomato said, “The above discussion is being undertaken with an intent to further strengthen our Going-out business and is in line with our stated position of focusing only on our four key businesses currently."

  • Acquiring Paytm's movie ticketing arm would allow Zomato to expand its consumer base and integrate entertainment with its existing food delivery services. This strategic move aims to capture a wider audience across categories, creating a more comprehensive user experience.

On May 13, food delivery platform Zomato announced its financial results for the fourth quarter (Q4 FY24), ending March 31, 2024. The company reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 175 crore, a significant turnaround from the Rs 188 crore loss recorded in the same period the previous year.

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Paytm's Refocusing Amidst Regulatory Challenges

Led by billionaire founder-CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm reported its first-ever sales decline last month and pledged to streamline non-core assets. The company also hinted at potential job cuts, a consequence of regulatory actions impacting Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. These actions have curtailed much of Paytm’s business, prompting the fintech to seek new partnerships with lenders.

For Paytm, selling the movie ticketing business signifies a refocus on core digital payments operations, especially in light of recent regulatory hurdles. The company recently faced challenges with the RBI concerning its payments bank arm and reported its first quarterly decline since listing (Q4 FY24). This potential divestiture allows Paytm to concentrate on core areas like travel, deals, and cashback to strengthen its merchant base and boost sales. This strategic shift reflects Paytm's aim to streamline operations and solidify its primary business model.

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What lies ahead for Paytm?: An Expert View

While Paytm is anticipated to refocus on its core business, there is speculation about its potential acquisition by major conglomerates, notably Adani. However, Paytm currently denies these acquisition rumors. Experts believe that an acquisition by Adani could be transformative for Paytm, which is currently viewed as an "entrepreneur-led" company. Watch the video below to learn how this acquisition could impact Paytm's future.

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Also Read: Is Paytm Another BYJU's in the Making? A Fintech Giant on Shaky Ground

Positive Market Response and New Collaborations

The news of potential divestiture and strategic partnerships has positively impacted Paytm's stock. Shares of One97 Communications, Paytm's parent company, surged nearly 6% following the announcement of a partnership with Samsung for booking tickets across flights, movies, buses, and events. 

Paytm's stock price on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) rose 7.29% to Rs  432 on June 13. This uptick reflects investor confidence in Paytm's strategic moves and potential growth opportunities. By focusing on core competencies and establishing strategic partnerships, Paytm aims to navigate regulatory challenges and solidify its market position.

Zomato's potential acquisition of Paytm's movie ticketing business underscores their commitment to expanding entertainment and "going out" services, offering a comprehensive consumer experience across categories. The ongoing negotiations between Paytm and Zomato represent a pivotal moment for both companies as they seek to optimize their business strategies and deliver greater value to their customers and stakeholders.

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