EbixCash acquires four Indian cos

Rajesh Kurup | | Updated on: Jan 14, 2019

Two in financial space for $57 million and two in travel space for undisclosed sum

In a spate of acquisitions, Nasdaq-listed Ebix has acquired four Indian companies, a move that will position as it as the largest financial exchange in India and strengthen its travel division.

The company’s Indian subsidiary EbixCash World Money acquired two financial firms, Essel Forex and Weizmann Forex, for a total of about $57 million (about ₹400 crore) and two travel brands for an undisclosed sum. Ebix, a global supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services, will strengthen its position as the largest financial exchange in India, besides emerging a leader in the inward remittance, outward remittance and foreign exchange markets.

The Indian subsidiary has acquired the entire assets of Essel Forex for about $8 million in a cash deal, which will be funded from its internal cash reserves.

Further, it has also acquired a 74.84 per cent controlling stake in Weizmann Forex, the second-largest inward remittance provider, for about $49 million in cash. Weizmann Forex is also one of the four largest foreign exchange and outward remittance providers in India. This would be funded by an existing bank line and internal cash reserves.

The purchase values Weizmann Forex at $65.94 million, it said in a statement.

“Essel Forex has a rich focus on corporate clientele with strong partnerships with many leading banks. Its geographical, product and client overlap with EbixCash made the synergies rather compelling. We remain committed to establishing the Indian sub-continent’s largest financial exchange and this is another step in that direction,” Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said.

“Weizmann has one of the largest financial exchange footprints in India, especially with a large number of banks servicing their transactions through their network. The synergies between Weizmann and EbixCash were compelling making this a natural decision for us,” he added. With these two acquisitions, Ebixcash as a group, stands as the largest distribution house in terms of network in financial services space covering more than 3,700 cities and 6,000 districts. It will also be the largest retail brand in terms of airport presence and will cover 95 per cent of airports in India in terms of retail presence.

Travel brands

Ebix has also signed agreements to acquire assets of Delhi-based Pearl International Tour & Travels and Mumbai-based Lawson Travels & Tours. The two companies cumulatively conduct a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of about $140 million (₹1,000 crore).

Following the deal, both these companies will be integrated with EbixCash’s Via travel division.

The financial deals of these could not be immediately ascertained.

The acquisition of these assets will increase EbixCash’s travel expanse across its two travels brands Via & Mercury, to a total GMV of ₹8,100 crore ($1.16 billion).

Besides increasing EbixCash’s travel foothold by 10,000 agents, it will also add 300 corporate clients, B2C portals, about 450 employees, 11 branches and 10,000 agents.

Published on January 14, 2019
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