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Yatra settles dispute over acquisition deal with Air Travel Bureau
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Nasdaq-listed travel portal Yatra Online said that it has settled the dispute over a pending acquisition deal with corporate travel services provider Air Travel Bureau Ltd (ATB). 

Yatra acquired 51% of ATB in 2017 for Rs 51 crore. It paid another Rs 20 crore in 2018-19, it said. 

Thus, the first leg of the deal was done. But before the second leg could close, Sunil Narain, one of the key shareholders of ATB, filed a complaint against Yatra for cheating and criminal breach of trust in connection with obligations under the share purchase agreement. 

Both parties entered arbitration and entered into a new agreement to settle the second leg of the deal, Yatra said. 

In an agreement signed on 29 July 2020, Yatra said it would pay Rs 80 crore as final payment to the sellers . This is “Rs 39 crore lower than the earn-out contingency provision of Rs 119 crore” that Yatra had earmarked in its balance sheet last year, the firm said in a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

With this, the deal will conclude and ATB will become a 100% subsidiary of Yatra. 

This development comes even as Yatra’s deal with Ebix fell through two months ago, resulting in the travel portal filing a lawsuit in the US. 

Ebix, which is also listed on the Nasdaq, had offered to acquire Yatra at an enterprise value of $336 million (around Rs 2,350 crore then) and a net equity value of $239 million to boost its portfolio of Indian travel ventures. The deal was initially meant to close in April 2020, but after four extensions Yatra said it terminated the deal in June. 

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 MakeMyTrip.

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