Prosus calls off $4.7 billion BillDesk acquisition deal

Prosus Ventures and PayU, the payments giant it controls, called off the $4.7 billion merger of BillDesk they announced last year citing failure of fulfilment of “certain conditions precedent” in a surprising move weeks after they received approval from the local regulator to go ahead with the deal.

“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.

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…)

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