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India's Largest Biz Travel Firm Receives Takeover Bid

India's largest business travel service provider Yatra Online has received a takeover offer from Software-as-a-Service company Ebix, the companies said in a press release on Monday (March 11).

U.S.-based Ebix — which provides software and eCommerce solutions to the financial, insurance, healthcare and eLearning industries — revealed that it submitted an offer to acquire 100 percent of Yatra's outstanding stocks at $7 per share, a deal worth $336 million. Yatra currently services more than 800 business customers. If the takeover attempt is successful, Ebix said it will integrate Yatra into its EbixCash subsidiary in India.

The offer represents an 84 percent premium on Yatra's closing stock as of March 8, the company noted. Any deal will be subject to regulatory clearance, and Ebix said it reserves the right to withdraw its offer if Yatra's board of directors does not provide clearance for Ebix to proceed by March 18.

"We believe that Yatra Online's products and services are complementary to EbixCash's travel portfolio of Via and Mercury, and a combination of the two companies would lend itself to significant synergies, and the creation [of India's] largest and most profitable travel services company," said Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina in a statement.

Yatra has not issued a statement related to the takeover offer. However, VCCircle said shares in the corporate travel services company rose 15 percent following the news.

The publication also noted that this wouldn't be Ebix's first deal in India. Last year, the company acquired Mercury Travels and Leisure Corp, both based in India, in a similar move to augment its travel services.

Also last year, Yatra struck a partnership with travel expense (T&E) management company Chrome River to provide business customers outside of India with Chrome River services when they travel for business within India. Earlier this month, Chrome River announced its own merger deal with Certify, a $1 billion agreement that combines the corporate T&E and invoicing firms.



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