US software company Ebix has offered to acquire 100% of the outstanding stock of travel company Yatra Online. Ebix, which provides software services for financial, healthcare, and insurance companies, intends to merge Yatra with its Indian EbixCash subsidiary. Ebix’s offer (made on March 11) for Yatra’s purchase stands at $7 per share, which is a premium of 84% on Yatra’s closing share price of $3.80 on March 8. Ebix will take on Yatra’s receivables, cash and restricted cash worth at least $25 million. It has given Yatra’s board until 18th March to accept the offer after which it can withdraw the offer. Ebix has acquired other travel companies including travel aggregator Via, SaaS travel company Zillous Solutions, luxury travel companies Mercury (in Mumbai) and Leisure Corp (in Delhi). Ever since its entry in the Indian market in May 2017, Ebix has, in rapid succession, acquired at least a dozen companies across remittance, travel, forex, and education. Why is Ebix interested in Yatra? Number two wants to become number one: In its last financial earnings call, Ebix India said that the company is "second today in B2B/consumer/retail markets behind NASDAQ-listed Yatra today, and we are focused on being number one by the end of the year." One way of achieving this is by acquiring Yatra. The company said on the call that "India's travel markets are growing at the rate of 27% to 30% annually and it is important that we take a leading position in this market." Ebix's India biz is headed for…
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