At an Ebix management meet hosted by Robin Raina in October, online travel aggregator (OTA) Yatra was the toast of the town. Indeed, at an event that saw the who’s who of politics, media, Bollywood, and sports turn up, Yatra’s entire top brass was front and centre. Raina, the founder and CEO of Ebix, a US-based software company, proudly introduced Yatra as part of the “Ebix family”, according to a source who attended the event. 

Five months on from welcoming Yatra into the fold, Yatra is out of the family. Ebix’s attempts to acquire it in a $337.8 million deal have flamed out in spectacular fashion. The 14-month-long saga finally ended when Yatra filed for the termination of the merger agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US market regulator.

Incidentally, Yatra’s move comes mere days after The Ken sent both Ebix and Yatra a detailed set of questions, seeking answers about the status of the proposed merger. While neither company has responded to these questions, Yatra pulled the trigger after markets in India closed on Friday. It has even sought “substantial damages” owing to Ebix allegedly breaching terms of the merger agreement.

Well before the official announcement, though, there were strong indications that the deal wouldn’t happen. When Ebix officially commenced its due diligence on Yatra in March 2019, it announced that the deal would be completed by May that year. That did not happen. Instead, the deal consummation date was extended several times—the latest, and final, being on 4 June 2020.

Even as talks dragged on, valuation concerns regarding the deal grew. The acquisition was supposed to be an all-stock deal, where Yatra was valued at $4.9 per share, with Ebix’s collar price at $53 a share. Since then, Yatra’s stock has plunged to $1.30. Ebix is at $25.83, as per its last traded price.

Shareholders on both sides were unhappy with the deal. “Yatra is in deep trouble,” says Sunil Shah, a former fund manager and investor in Ebix. “It is highly unlikely to make a profit. The Yatra deal would be a huge liability on Ebix given that the currency of this acquisition—Ebix shares—has fallen sharply.” Earlier this year, Shah claimed claimed Seeking Alpha Ebix's legal notice to Sunil Shah Read more  that Ebix served him a cease and desist notice due to his persistent criticism of the company’s functioning. 

Yatra investors were also unhappy with the pricing of the deal. “I thought the price was low. I did not really understand the workings of Ebix, so as a shareholder (or an advocate for shareholders), I did not like the idea of becoming an Ebix shareholder.

AUTHOR

Vandana

Vandana is based in Delhi. She covers vertically focussed startups in consumer internet space and also writes on travel tech and smartphones for The Ken. She has spent 13 years in journalism covering a wide range of subjects- equity markets, mutual funds to education and skilling, working at organisations such as Business Standard, CNBC TV18 and The Week in the past.

View Full Profile

Subscribe to read this story

The Ken is the only business subscription you need. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.