Ebix offers to acquire Yatra for $336 mn to boost travel portfolio
03/12/2019|5:01:24 PM|VCCiRCLE

Software firm Ebix Inc said on Monday that it has offered to acquire fellow Nasdaq-listed company Yatra Online Inc for $336 million (around Rs 2,350 crore) in a cash-and-stock deal aimed at boosting its portfolio of Indian travel ventures.

Ebix Offers to Acquire India’s Largest Corporate Travel Exchange, Yatra Online, Inc.  

US-headquartered Ebix said in a statement that it intends to merge Yatra Online, which operates travel portal Yatra.com, with its Indian EbixCash subsidiary, which offers remittance services.

"We believe that Yatra Online’s products and services are complementary to EbixCash’s travel portfolio of Via and Mercury; and a combination of the two companies would lend itself to significant synergies and the creation of the India’s largest and most profitable travel services company,” said Ebix chairman, president and chief executive Robin Raina.

Ebix said the offer price of $7 per share represented a premium of 84% to Yatra’s closing price on Friday. It expects the deal to add between 25 to 30 cents for the shareholders of the combined company. The offer also values Yatra at around 50% premium to its valuation at the time of its reverse-merger to list on the Nasdaq in 2016. 

Ebix said it might reduce its offer if it does not receive a positive response from Yatra 's board.  It also reserved the right to withdraw the offer if Yatra declines to allow the company to proceed with due diligence by March 18.

Yatra has not issued any statement with regard to the offer. Its shares rose 15% after the news, while Ebix shares were up marginally on Monday.

Yatra was founded in 2006 by former Ebookers Group (UK) executives Shringi, Manish Amin and Sabina Chopra.

The company is backed by a number of venture capital, private equity and strategic investors including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, IDG Ventures and Vertex Venture Management. It operates in India through Gurugram-based unit Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. 

In July 2016. Yatra had signed a reverse-merger agreement with US-based special purpose acquisition company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corp, which was listed on the Nasdaq, paving the way for a back-door listing of the second Indian online travel services provider in the US after rival MakeMyTrip.

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