Ebix’s puzzling India IPO plans and lawsuits

Ebix’s puzzling India IPO plans and lawsuits

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Pratik Bhakta

122 reads
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Madhav Chanchani

105 reads
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Pratik Bhakta

122 reads
author-image

Madhav Chanchani

105 reads

The US software provider’s Indian unit, EbixCash, plans to raise Rs 6,000 crore through a public offering. As per the draft prospectus, both companies are embroiled in legal tussles related to acquisitions. Will this complicate EbixCash’s path to the market?

March 15, 2022

9 Min Read

Nasdaq-listed Ebix Inc hit the headlines in June 2020 for its failed acquisition of travel platform Yatra. But by every measure, 2021 was a more turbulent period for the software provider.

In February that year, accounting firm RSM quit acting as its independent auditor after raising serious concerns over the gift-card business of Indian unit EbixCash. RSM said it was unable to “obtain sufficient audit evidence” to understand the “purpose of significant unusual transactions that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2020” in EbixCash. 

The two sides had also argued over the classification of $30 million that Ebix had transferred to an outside trust. The company clarified that it had got this cash back and downplayed the Indian gift-card business, saying it was only a $1.4-million operation. 

However, the news of the auditor’s exit knocked down Ebix’s stock by 40%, a development that led to class-action lawsuits against the company. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of livid US shareholders. 

More than a year on, EbixCash is in focus once again, having just submitted draft papers for a listing in India. At a time when the IPO market has frozen, it plans to raise Rs 6,000 crore ($784 million) in the issue and is reportedly targeting a valuation of Rs 37,500 crore ($4.9 billion). The buzz seems to have boosted the US parent’s shares, which went up nearly 60% before shedding some of the gains. 

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