Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is entering a $1 trillion market in India

A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man pays the vendor through Paytm, a digital wallet company, after buying a book during the annual religious festival of Magh Mela in Allahabad.

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A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man pays the vendor through Paytm, a digital wallet company, after buying a book during the annual religious festival of Magh Mela in Allahabad.
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Reuters/Jitendra Prakash

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway confirmed it is investing in the parent company of Paytm.
  • The transaction is among the first of the company’s investments in India.
  • Buffett said last year India is a “huge, enormous” market with “incredible” potential.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is putting some of its massive cash pile to work in India.

Berkshire confirmed Monday it has invested in One97 Communications Ltd., the parent company of Paytm, which is the largest mobile-payment company in India.

Berkshire had been considering an investment of between $286 million to $357 million and a 3-4% stake in the company, the Economic Times reported earlier Monday. That would bring the value of Paytm, which is not profitable, to more than $10 billion.

The transaction could mark one of Berkshire Hathaway’s first direct investments in India, the Economic Times added, but Buffett wasn’t directly involved in it.

Buffett has been eager to boost Berkshire Hathaway’s business outside of health insurance, writing in a company letter this year he wanted to do so through one or more “huge” acquisitions. Berkshire had a record $111 billion of cash on its balance sheet last quarter.

In an interview with ET Now last year, Buffett said the potential for the country is “incredible,” calling it a “huge, enormous market.”

“If you tell me a wonderful company in India that might be available for sale, I’ll be there tomorrow,” he added.

Other major Paytm investors include Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Japan’s Softbank.