In under three months of filing for bankruptcy in the US, Ebix has reportedly initiated the sale of its Indian operations.

The decision to divest EbixCash comes as there are limited or no prospects for listing the Indian operations. In December 2022, EbixCash filed documents for a ₹6,000-crore initial public offering (IPO).

Sources say the IPO plans didn’t sail smoothly even with the market regulator as SEBI had sought further information on litigations surrounding the company. An updated red herring prospectus hasn’t been filed since. Meanwhile, with ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in the US firming up, repatriating money from the Indian entity will be seen as very critical in the process. “EbixCash is the only potential cash cow for Ebix and with the IPO unlikely to go through, the next best solution is to find a buyer for the company,” said a highly-placed source aware of the matter.

Sources also add that with the US unit swamped in bankruptcy, EbixCash has the risk of losing its remittance licences as well. “Usually, the banking regulator doesn’t entertain companies to trade their licences for valuation or to seal a deal.”

An email sent to EbixCash seeking confirmation remained unanswered till press time.

Tough deal

According to sources, three key players in the fintech and non-banking space had evinced interest in EbixCash. “But it didn’t materialise to even the stage of due diligence because of numerous legal issues surrounding the company. Ultimately, it’s boiling down to reputational issues about the company which makes it tough to predict the downside risk of these pending cases,” said an industry source aware of the development. The hesitation around EbixCash is despite the company holding a leadership position in inward money remittance, travel and forex businesses.

These are said to be highly profitable businesses, though people in the know say the 24 acquisitions (more than half of it being India-specific) between 2005–2018 have helped it secure the top spot in the country. The company is said to have spent $1.8 billion, including the $150-million spent to acquire ItzCash in 2017.

Also read: EbixCash becomes first entity to enable UPI for foreign nationals