Prosus Ventures and its subsidiary payments giant PayU have called off the $4.7 billion merger of BillDesk they announced last year, saying “certain conditions precedent” were not fulfilled by the deadline in a surprising development a month after the proposed acquisition received approval from the local antitrust watchdog.
“Certain conditions precedent were not fulfilled by the 30 September 2022 long stop date, and the agreement has terminated automatically in accordance with its terms and, accordingly, the proposed transaction will not be implemented,” Prosus said in a statement.
The acquisition, announced at the peak of the bull cycle last year, was supposed to be the second largest M&A deal in the South Asian market’s consumer internet space. But in recent quarters, as the market has turned, Prosus itself has eroded a considerable value.
It’s unclear if Prosus and BillDesk had agreed for a termination fee. BillDesk did not immediately respond to a request for comment. BillDesk — which counts Visa, Temasek, General Atlantic and a number of Indian banks among its backers — has raised $245 million to date. It was valued at $1.59 billion after January 2019 funding round, according to research firm Tracxn.
PayU and 20-year-old BillDesk process a significant number of payments transactions in India. If combined, they would have assumed a clear lead in the Indian market.
“Together, PayU India and BillDesk will be able to meet the changing payments needs of digital consumers, merchants and Government enterprises in India and offer state-of-the-art technology to even more of the excluded sections of society, while adhering to the regulatory environment in India and delivering robust consumer protection,” Prosus said at the time of acquisition announcement.
(More to follow…)