Travel portal Yatra to consider Ebix's buyout offer
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Nasdaq-listed Yatra Online Inc. said it will consider Ebix Inc.'s proposal to acquire the online travel company.

In a stock-exchange filing on Friday, Yatra also said it has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Ebix that will enable both the companies to commence due diligence for the proposed acquisition.

The confidentiality agreement does not assure that a transaction will result from this process, Yatra said.

Earlier this week, software firm Ebix had offered to acquire Yatra for $336 million (around Rs 2,350 crore) in a cash-and-stock deal aimed at boosting its portfolio of Indian travel ventures.

Making the offer, US-headquartered Ebix had said that it intended to merge Yatra Online, which operates travel portal, with its Indian EbixCash subsidiary, which offers remittance services.

Ebix’s offer price of $7 per share represented a premium of 84% to Yatra’s closing price on last Friday. The offer valued Yatra at around 50% premium to its valuation at the time of its Nasdaq listing in 2016. 

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 after rival MakeMyTrip.

Atlanta-based Ebix offers software and provides e-commerce services for the insurance, financial, healthcare industries. Its unit EbixCash had acquired Mumbai-based Mercury Travels and Delhi-based Leisure Corp last year with an aim to create a travel division focused on luxury, events and sports-related travelers. Ebix had in October 2017 acquired online-to-offline travel agency Via for $75 million.

Yatra was founded in 2006 by former Ebookers Group (UK) executives Dhruv Shringi, Manish Amin and Sabina Chopra. The company is backed by a number of venture capital, private equity and strategic investors including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, IDG Ventures and Vertex Venture Management.

It operates in India through Gurugram-based unit Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. The unit reported a net profit of Rs 13.75 crore in the third quarter ended December 31, 2018, as compared to Rs 23.23 crore in the year-ago period. The company's revenue slipped to Rs 220.47 crore from Rs 336.04 crore during the period under review.

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