Home/ Companies / News/  Ebix acquires two travel services companies for $14.2 million

Mumbai: Nasdaq-listed Ebix Inc on Thursday said it has acquired Mumbai-based Mercury Travels and Delhi-based Leisure Corp for approximately $14.2 million. Ebix is a supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries. The acquisitions were made through Ebix’s Indian subsidiary, EbixCash.

Founded in 1948 as an Oberoi Hotel group company, Mercury is a popular luxury travel brand with a network of 20 branch offices, across 16 major cities in India. The company is also seen as a leader in the adventure space, with specialisation in organising adventure safaris, sea water rafting and Himalayan expeditions. Leisure Corp was incorporated in 1997 and is engaged in events related to the travel space and luxury trains and luxury travel, with a focus on the insurance and financial sector and incoming luxury travellers.

Ebix said it is acquiring the two companies to create a new division focusing on a niche segment of the travel market.

“The new Travel Exchange named Mercury—An EbixCash Luxury initiative, will focus on the luxury, events and sports related traveler and will be led by the Leisure Corp Founder Naveen Kundu. Ebix will have a controlling 85% share in the venture and Kundu will hold a 15% shareholding," Ebix said.

The Mercury Exchange will comprise Mercury Travel’s entire corporate, leisure and adventure related travel business, Leisure Corp’s entire sports and events related travel business and Via.com’s events based travel business.

Ebix had acquired Via.com, an online travel and assisted e-commerce exchange, in November 2017 for $74.9 million.

“Ebix believes that the Mercury business initiative can continue to grow at the rate of 20% or more annually with operating margins of 30% or more, once fully integrated. Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings. Ebix funded the acquisition using its internal cash reserves and did not use any investment bankers for the transaction," the statement said.

The acquisition of Mercury and Leisure Corp. will increase the employee strength of Ebix in India by around 400 employees to approximately 7,600 employees.

“Mercury has built a reputation for itself in the affluent luxury market place with its levels of service, built around the high standards associated with an effort backed by the Oberoi Hotels chain. Leisure Corp is a leader in the events based travel business space with a clear focus on the financial and insurance industries. We are excited to be able to bring these two leading companies together, with the goal of creating a pioneering luxury travel initiative," said Robin Raina, chairman, president and CEO at Ebix.

Swaraj Singh Dhanjal
" Based in Mumbai, Swaraj Singh Dhanjal is responsible for Mint’s corporate news coverage. For the past eight years he has been writing on the biggest deals in private equity, venture capital, IPO market and corporate mergers and acquisitions. An engineer and an MBA, he started his journalism career in 2014 with Mint. "
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Updated: 02 Aug 2018, 11:57 PM IST
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