Ybrant’s $175M deal for Experian units falls through
Ybrant Digital Ltd

The $175 million deal by Hyderabad-based Ybrant Digital Ltd to buy certain assets of Experian plc has fallen through as the digital marketing solutions company was not able to come up with the cash. In May, Ybrant had entered into a deal to acquire PriceGrabber, LowerMyBills and ClassesUSA.com from information services firm Experian.

Last month, Ybrant also said that Experian will pick up a 2.3 per cent in the company for Rs 110 crore ($20 million), which has also been called off. The company's deal to raise another Rs 100 crore through optionally convertible loan instruments (OCL) placed with ICICI Bank and Credit Suisse was also cancelled last week as it was conditional on completion of acquisition.

"We today announce that following the expiration of the final deadline, Ybrant Digital has failed to comply with its obligation to close the transaction and Experian considers Ybrant Digital to be in breach of contract," said Experian, which is listed on London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 100 Index.

Ybrant said in a filing that "the proposed deal to buy the Experian properties could not be completed within the committed timeline. The company is working towards the same and shall notify the exchange as soon as some concrete developments occur”.

Calls made to Suresh Reddy, chairman and MD of Ybrant, did not elicit a response at the time of filing this article.

At the time of the acquisition, Ybrant said that it is funding the

deal through $100 million in cash and another $75 million ‘loan note’. The deal was expected to add $283 million (revenues from the three businesses for the year ended March 31, 2012) to Ybrant's topline.

The shares of Ybrant were trading at Rs 76 down by 2.12 per cent in afternoon trade on Thursday. Ybrant had executed a reverse merger with BSE-listed IT outsourcing services provider LGS Global Ltd and was listed in July this year.

Started in 2000, Ybrant Digital offers digital marketing solutions to businesses, agencies and online publishers globally. The firm had raised funding from Oak Investment Partners, Sansar Capital and GE Asia Pacific Capital.

Ybrant acquired several global businesses over the past five years, including Lycos (in an all-stock deal in August 2010), Australian ad network Max Interactive and Argentina-based ad network Dream Ad (in 2009), Israeli company Oridian (for $13 million), Serbia-based Seenetix (in 2007), US-based MediosOne (in 2006) and also ad network AdDynamix (for $10 million). The company also picked up minority stake in Israel-based Web 3.0 in an all-cash deal in June 2011.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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