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Exclusive: Pine Labs buys back shares worth $6 Mn from top brass; increases ESOP pool to $680 Mn

Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has initiated a share buyback program worth $6 million for its top level executives including the company’s Chief Executive Officer Amrish Rau.

The board at Pine Labs has approved the buyback of shares worth $6.07 million from five executives, namely Amrish Rau, Kumar Sudarsan, Kush Mehra, Dev Anand Sharma and Rakesh Sharma, the company’s regulatory filings in Singapore show.

Amrish Rau is the biggest beneficiary of the buyback program, offloading shares worth $1.92 million. Kumar Sudarsan, who is the co-founder of Qwikcilver, has sold shares worth $1.75 million. To recall, QwikCilver was acquired by Pine Labs in a $110 million deal in April 2019.

Kush Mehra, chief business officer of Pine Labs, has diluted $1.41 million worth of shares in this buyback event. Rakesh Sharma, vice president,  and Dev Anand Sharma, senior vice president of Pine Labs have also offloaded shares worth $500K and $490K respectively.

In a separate filing, Pine Labs has also increased the size of its employee stock options pool by adding 70,000 options and the pool now includes 1.44 million options worth $680.23 million.  

In terms of ESOP pool size, Pine Labs has crossed Paytm and is only behind Flipkart (formerly Indian origin company) and Oyo in non-listed companies. According to a report published by Longhouse Consulting in December 2021, Flipkart created an ESOP pool worth $2.26 billion whereas Oyo had an ESOP pool of $1 billion. The ESOP pool size of Zomato, Paytm and Nykaa (public companies) stood at $750 million, $610 million and $570 million respectively. 

​​In September 2020, the Singapore-registered company also allotted ESOP worth $14 million to its CTO, CFO and dozens of  other senior employees. Entrackr had exclusively reported the development.

In 2021, Pine Labs also saw a couple of secondary transactions in which its early backer Sequoia and many top rung stakeholders including founding members and senior employees realised windfall gains through secondary events.

The fresh share buyback comes soon after a  $13.5 million worth ESOP buyback program announced by the company during a $50 million fundraising event from private equity major Vitruvian Partners. In the past couple of years, Pine Labs has raised more than $1 billion and is currently valued at over $5 billion.

The company is also contemplating an initial public offering (IPO) in the US. As per media reports, it would aim to raise $500 million at a valuation of $6-7 billion from the public market.

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