Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) Business of Paul Merchants Limited (BSE: PML) also referred to as PML or Paul Merchants hereinafter, for $40.7 million approx. through its Indian affiliate.
Paul Merchants Inward Remittance Exchange Encompasses 20,000+ Distribution Outlets, 165+ Branches, Processing over 6 Million Transactions Per Annum.
The agreement while approved by the Paul Merchants Board, is subject to its shareholders and/or other regulatory/commercial approvals. The customary process for such approval can take a timeline of 45 to 60 days. As a part of the Transaction, Paul Merchants will also take a 10% stake in Ebix’s combined international remittance business entity in India for cash consideration.
The acquisition once approved, is expected to be accretive to Ebix earnings immediately. The Company funded the transaction using its internal cash reserves. Ebix did not use any investment bankers for the transaction.
With a market share of almost 35% percent of Western Union's inward remittance flows in India, Paul Merchants is the largest international remittance player in India. This is Ebix’s third remittance related acquisition over the last 45 days, following the announcement of the acquisition of YouFirst Money Express Private Limited and the asset purchase of Wall Street Finance Limited. Ebix intends to consolidate both these acquisitions into its Financial Exchange operations bringing significant synergies and redundancies to the combined operation.
The acquisition of the MTSS Business, which controls the largest share of the market, would further strengthen Ebix’s position in the Financial Exchange market in India, following its acquisition of ItzCash in May 2017. The addition of this international capability significantly expands upon Ebix’s overall participation in India’s remittance channels, and will allow Ebix’s financial exchange to remit money sent from abroad through Western Union, Ria, Moneygram or Express Money.
With 75,000+physical retail outlets for ItzCash’s financial exchange, the three MTSS business acquisitions increase that distribution reach substantially to over 114,000 outlets across the country. Ebix’s ItzCash service is already the largest domestic remittance exchange in India with domestic remittance volume of approximately $100 million per month.
Ebix’s ItzCash exchange is a recognized leader in prepaid cards, domestic remittances and bill payments, processing approximately 600,000 transactions per day and approximately $2 Billion in annual payment volume.
Paul Merchants Limited Chairman and Managing Director Mr. Sat Paul Bansal said, “I am excited to have Paul Merchants team up with Ebix, in its efforts to streamline the inward remittance exchange business in India. Ebix has a track record of deploying and successfully running exchanges across the world. I am a firm believer in Ebix’s efforts to drive efficiency through technology and consolidation, as also bring better value to the end consumer.”
Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina “Paul Merchants has led the Indian markets in the international remittance exchange business. Under the leadership of Mr. Paul, they have backed their steadfast vision with strong fundamentals, rock solid financials, vast & loyal distribution base and high levels of commitment to their customers. I am pleased to say that Mr. Sat Paul Bansal, the founding CMD of Paul Merchants has graciously agreed to serve as the Chairman of the Board of our combined remittance company, to ensure that the combined MTSS company continues to deliver high standards of customer service and growth.”
Robin also said, “I believe that the combination of Paul Merchant’s MTSS Business into our two other MTSSS acquisitions will place in a very strong position to implement our vision related to Financial Exchanges in India.”