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Sweden’s Sinch to buy Indian cloud communications firm ACL Mobile
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Swedish cloud communications company Sinch AB has inked a pact to acquire India’s ACL Mobile Ltd for Rs 535 crore ($70 million) in cash to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest market of mobile-phone users.

“With ACL… we gain customers, expertise and technology, and we further strengthen our global messaging product for discerning businesses with global needs,” Sinch CEO Oscar Werner said in a statement.

Sinch said it also can leverage ACL’s direct connections to mobile operators in India, Malaysia and the UAE, and offer end-to-end connectivity to businesses around the world.

Delhi-based ACL Mobile was founded in 2000. Led by founder and CEO Sanjay K Goyal, it employs 288 people and has offices in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. The company provides cloud communications services in India and Southeast Asia. Its platform enables businesses to interact with their customers via text messages, voice, email and WhatsApp.

The company serves more than 500 enterprise customers, particularly in the banking and financial services industry. Its list of clients include HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank. It also counts Amway, Flipkart, MakeMyTrip and OLX among its customers.

For the 12 months ended March 2020, ACL Mobile recorded revenue of about Rs 496 crore, gross profit of Rs 109 crore and adjusted EBITDA of Rs 48 crore. Like-for-like gross profit growth for 2019-20 was 13%, Sinch said.

Sinch said the total price it is paying implies an enterprise value to EBITDA multiple of 11.1 times based on adjusted EBITDA for the 12-month period ended March 2020.

The Swedish company will acquire ACL in two stages. When the transaction closes, it will acquire 82% of ACL Mobile. At this time, Sinch will get a call option to acquire the remaining 18% of ACL on or after December 1, 2020. The selling shareholders will have a put option in the event Sinch doesn’t exercise the call option.

ACL is the fourth acquisition by Sinch in recent months. It acquired

In May, it agreed to acquire SAP Digital Interconnect, a unit of SAP SE, for 225 million euros ($253 million). That followed a deal to buy Latin American company Wavy in March and the completion of the acquisition of Antwerp, Belgium-based artificial intelligence firm Chatlayer in April.

The acquisition of ACL Mobile is likely to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Handelsbanken Capital Markets acted as the financial adviser and Trilegal as the legal adviser to Sinch in the transaction. EY and Dua Associates advised ACL Mobile.

To find out more about the prospects for mergers and acquisitions in India, join the second edition of VCCircle’s Mergers & Acquisitions Summit 2020, a digital event, on June 26.

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