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Yatra, Ebix merger deal scraps, initiates litigation in US Court

Gurugram-based Yatra Online has filed a lawsuit against Atlanta-based , Ebix Inc. in a US court over breaches of merger agreement a little less than a year after the firm agreed to acquire the Indian online travel services company in a cash-and-stock deal.

 

Yatra said that it sent a notice of termination of the pending merger with Ebix and filed litigation in a court in the State of Delaware. The complaint seeks to hold Ebix accountable for breaches of its representations, warranties and covenants in the merger agreement and an ancillary extension agreement besides seeking substantial damages.

 

“Ebix’s conduct breached material terms of the agreements and frustrated Yatra’s ability to close the transaction and obtain the benefit of Yatra’s bargain for Yatra’s stockholders,” it said.

 

Ebix 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. Ebix had in October 2017 acquired online-to-offline travel agency Via for $75 million.

 

Yatra is among those like Cleartrip and EaseMyTrip that stand separate even as payment service providers and even horizontal e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart have been trying to build a presence in tie-ups with existing OTAs.

 

The proposed deal that was to close on or before April 12, 2020 had got stretched. The deadline was extended to April 27 and pursuant to a second extension was set for April 30, 2020. A third extension was signed on May 1, 2020 to consummate the deal by May 4, 2020 and this was again extended to June 4, 2020 to provide the parties with time to determine whether they can reach mutual agreement on an amendment of certain terms of the merger agreement. This lapsed early this week and led to nixing of the deal.