Private sector lender Axis Bank Ltd is nearing a deal to buy digital payments platform Freecharge for Rs350-400 crore in cash, giving much-needed breathing space to Freecharge’s parent company Snapdeal, which is separately in talks to sell itself to larger rival Flipkart.
By buying Freecharge, Axis Bank will get a popular digital payments brand as well as access to high-quality technology that traditional companies typically struggle to build compared with internet start-ups.
Axis Bank and Freecharge are likely to announce the deal this week, two people familiar with the matter said, on condition of anonymity.
Freecharge had also held lengthy talks with Paytm (One97 Communications Ltd) but chose to go with Axis Bank as the bank offered a higher price, the people said.
Axis Bank and Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd) didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
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