Atlanta-based software firm Ebix said today it is acquiring online travel booking company Yatra through a merger deal at an enterprise value of $337.8 million as it looks to strengthen its position in India’s hotel and flight ticketing businesses.
Once the acquisition has completed, Yatra will become part of Ebix’s EbixCash (the company’s Indian subsidiary) travel portfolio — which also includes Via and Mumbai-based Mercury — and will continue to serve customers under the Yatra brand, the two companies said.
Yatra, which went public in 2016 following a reverse-merger with listed company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation, counts India’s Network18, Reliance Capital, Macquarie Group, and Rotation Capital among its shareholders. Yatra posted a revenue of $31.7 million in Q4 2018. It had about 800 corporate clients as of earlier this year.
The combined entity will leverage Yatra’s large and loyal existing customer base, comprehensive service offering and multi-channel platform to take advantage of the dynamic and growing multibillion-dollar opportunity in India, the companies said in a joint statement. Yatra’s shares were up over 17% following today’s announcement in pre-market trading.
Ebix’s growing footprint in India
The announcement follows months of negotiations between the two firms. In March, Ebix offered to buy Yatra for $336 million, adding that it might reduce its offer size if Yatra does not accept the proposal soon enough.
Ebix, which develops software solutions for insurance, financial, e-commerce, e-learning, healthcare, and travel industries, said it is targeting an EbixCash IPO in the second quarter of next year. “The synergies and the cross-selling opportunities can create tremendous economic value for the shareholders, once the IPO is done,” the companies said.
Ebix has acquired stake in a number of companies in India. Earlier this year, it acquired 80% controlling stake in on-demand SaaS travel firm Zillious. The U.S.-based company’s Indian subsidiary has also acquired stakes in remittance provider Weizmann, online cab hiring platform AHA Taxis, B2B marketplace Routier, travel business Centrum Direct, and e-learning firm Smartclass.
In 2017, Ebix acquired controlling stake in Itz Cash, a firm that offers prepaid cash cards, for over $120 million. It also owns assets of Delhi-based Pearl International Tour & Travels and Mumbai-based Lawson Travels & Tours.
In a statement, Dhruv Shringi, cofounder and CEO of Yatra, said, “Becoming a part of Ebix’s EbixCash travel portfolio will enable us to continue on that path. As part of a larger diversified organization with the necessary scale and resources to be a leader in today’s dynamic travel marketplace, we will provide more options and an enhanced experience for our joint customers and will be an even stronger partner to the airline, hotel, car rental and other businesses we work with.”
“We are confident that combining Yatra’s loyal customer base, comprehensive service offering and multi-channel platform with Ebix’s complementary Via and Mercury businesses, will create a leading online travel platform and India’s largest corporate travel platform that will capture growth opportunities and deliver enhanced value to shareholders.”
More to follow…