Travel portal Yatra acquires corporate bookings firm Air Travel Bureau
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Nasdaq-listed travel portal Yatra Online, Inc. has agreed to acquire corporate travel services provider Air Travel Bureau Ltd, according to a press statement.

Yatra, through unit Yatra Online Pvt Ltd, will first pay about $8 million upfront to buy a majority stake in Air Travel Bureau by the middle of August. It will acquire the remaining stake in the April-June quarter of 2018 by making the final payment.

The total deal value will be between $22.5 million and $27.5 million, it said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company will finance the acquisition through a combination of debt and cash, it added.

Yatra co-founder and CEO Dhruv Shringi said the acquisition strengthens its position in the large and growing corporate travel market in India. “We believe that as a combined entity, we are now the largest corporate travel services platform in India by gross bookings,” he said.

ATB chairman and CEO Sunil Narain said the deal will help the company enhance its offerings for customers by leveraging Yatra’s technology platform and large hotel network.

ATB claims to have generated gross bookings of Rs 1,500 crore through a client base of over 400 large and medium-sized businesses across India.

Yatra was founded in 2006 by former Ebookers Group (UK) executives Shringi, Manish Amin and Sabina Chopra. Amin is now chief information officer and Chopra is executive vice president of operations.

The company is backed by a string of venture capital, private equity and strategic investors. In October last year, it sold a small stake to Reliance Industries Ltd as part of a deal linked to an existing partnership where Reliance pre-installed the Yatra mobile app in its Lyf-branded 4G handsets.

Earlier this month, media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd sold its equity-convertible warrants in Yatra Online, Inc. for Rs 39 crore (around $6 million).

In July 2016, Yatra had signed a reverse-merger agreement with US-based special purpose acquisition company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corp, which was listed on the Nasdaq, paving the way for a back-door listing of the second Indian online travel services provider in the US.

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