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StanChart PE to acquire Naspers’ stake in Travel Boutique Online
Photo Credit: Reuters

Standard Chartered Private Equity has agreed to acquire global internet and entertainment group Naspers’ full stake in Travel Boutique Online (TBO), a portal that provides travel solutions for travel agents and tour operators across India. TBO is operated by Tek Travels Pvt. Ltd.

The PE arm of Standard Chartered Bank didn’t disclose the terms of the transaction with the South African firm.

“The overall business-to-business (B2B) travel distribution landscape is ripe for consolidation. We believe that, in partnership with Standard Chartered PE, we can leverage our strengths in technology and scale to drive this consolidation," said Gaurav Bhatnagar, co-founder of Tek Travels.

Tek Travels was founded in 2006 by Bhatnagar and Ankush Nijhawan.

The company has since expanded to more than 90 countries. It uses its proprietary online technology platform to distribute airline and hotel inventory to travel agents.

For 2016-17, the company’s consolidated net sales stood at Rs 276 crore, up from Rs 205 crore for the previous financial year. Net profit was Rs 28.9 crore for 2016-17, up from Rs 16 crore for the previous financial year, according to information available at VCCEdge, the data intelligence platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Naspers

Naspers acquired 51% stake in Tek Travels in 2012, going by information available with VCCEdge.

Its agreement to sell the stake to Standard Chartered Private Equity will result in the South African firm’s second exit this year. In May, Naspers, one of the world's largest technology investors, sold its entire 11.18% stake in Indian online retailer Flipkart to US-based Walmart Inc. for $2.2 billion (Rs 14,797 crore). The firm earned four-fold returns in the big India exit.

Exits apart, Naspers holds investments in online classifieds company OLX, payment and fin-tech services firm PayU, online food delivery startup Swiggy and online travel services firm MakeMyTrip.

Standard Chartered PE

Standard Chartered PE started investing in India in 2004, according to information available at VCCEdge. It invested in several mid-stage to late-stage companies across a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and banking.

Its last-known investment was in December 2016, when it put Rs 340 crore in IFMR Capital Finance Pvt. Ltd, a Chennai-based company.

The private equity firm’s last-known full exit was in January this year, when Standard Chartered PE offloaded its entire stake in Sterlite Power Grid Ventures.

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