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Ebix acquires Mercury Travels, Leisure Corp to beef up travel business
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US-based software firm Ebix Inc, the parent of ItzCash Card Ltd, said on Thursday it has acquired luxury travel companies Mercury Travels Ltd and Leisure Corp for a total of about $14.2 million (around Rs 95 crore).

The twin deals come almost nine months after Ebix bought Bengaluru-based online-offline travel agency Via.com and will strengthen Ebix’s presence in the luxury, events and sports travel segments.

Ebix said in a statement the new combined entity, named Mercury, will be led by Leisure Corp founder Naveen Kundu. Ebix will hold an 85% stake in the new entity while Kundu will own the remaining.

This entity will incorporate Mercury Travel’s entire corporate, leisure and adventure-related travel businesses with the exception of its foreign exchange business, Leisure Corp’s entire sports and events-related travel business and Via.com’s events based travel business.

Mumbai-based Mercury’s foreign exchange business will be integrated into EbixCash’s existing CDL Forex exchange business, the company said. The CDL Forex business refers to Ebix’s purchase of Centrum Direct Ltd, the foreign exchange services arm of Centrum Capital Ltd, for $175 million (Rs 1,140 crore) in April.

“Between this Mercury initiative and our existing Via.com travel initiative, EbixCash (formerly ItzCash) is now uniquely positioned as a financial exchange that has end-to-end travel solutions for all sections of the society,” Ebix chairman, president and chief executive Robin Raina said in the statement.

The two acquisitions will increase the employee count of Ebix in India by around 400 employees to 7,600 employees.

Mercury Travels was incorporated in 1948 as an Oberoi hotel group company. It has 20 branches across 16 cities in India and 350 employees. Delhi-based Leisure Corp began operations in 1997.

Ebix’s acquisitions

The US company has expanded at a rapid pace in India thanks to a number of acquisitions. Apart from Via.com and Centrum Direct, it had bought a majority stake in payment solutions firm ItzCash and the remittance businesses of YouFirst Money Express Pvt. Ltd, Wall Street Finance Ltd and Paul Merchants Ltd.

Last month, it acquired Pune-headquartered lending software solutions company Indus Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd for $29 million.

In April, the firm said it would acquire a 60% stake in Indian e-learning company Smartclass for $8 million (Rs 52 crore). In January, it had acquired  money transfer firm Transcorp International Ltd for $7.4 million (Rs 47.15 crore).

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