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Naspers swaps MakeMyTrip stake with China’s Ctrip in second India exit
Photo Credit: VCCircle

South African technology group Naspers Ltd is fully exiting MakeMyTrip Ltd, two-and-a-half years after merging its ibibo Group with the Nasdaq-listed company in a deal that had marked the biggest consolidation move in the online travel agency segment in India.

Naspers will sell its entire stake in MakeMyTrip to Chinese travel services provider Ctrip.com International Ltd, MakeMyTrip said in a statement on Friday. It didn’t disclose financial details. 

Ctrip will own around 49% of MakeMyTrip's total voting rights. It will also invest shares of MakeMyTrip in a third-party investment entity, which will own around 4% of the Indian company’s total voting rights. Naspers will own 5.6% of Ctrip after the transaction.

“We will leverage this investment to benefit from the tremendous growth potential in travel and tourism between our two countries [India and China],” said Deep Kalra, chairman and group CEO of MakeMyTrip.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is likely to close in the second half of 2019.

Naspers and China's Tencent, which owned 91% and 9% respectively in ibibo Group, had decided in October 2016 to sell the online travel company to MakeMyTrip in exchange for a 40% stake in the combined company.

The deal was expected to help MakeMyTrip improve access to fast-growing segments such as hotel booking and bus ticketing through ibibo Group’s brands goibibo and redBus. 

For Naspers, one of the most prolific technology investors in the country, the exit from MakeMyTrip is its second liquidity event from an Indian company.

In May last year, Naspers harvested more than $2 billion by exiting its six-year-old bet on Flipkart after the e-commerce giant was acquired by Walmart Inc.

Meanwhile, the South African conglomerate's appetite for deals in India only appears to grow. It led an investment of $540 million in ed-tech startup Byju's in December last year. In the same month, it led a $1 billion investment in food-tech unicorn Swiggy to mark one of the single-largest capital infusions into an Indian startup.

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