ItzCash parent, US-based Ebix has entered into an agreement to acquire the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) Business of Paul Merchants Limited, PML. The $40.7 Mn acquisition was done through its Indian affiliate.
Paul Merchants is an international remittance player in India. It claims to have a market share of almost 35% of Western Union’s inward remittance flows in India. As per a company statement, Paul Merchants inward remittance exchange encompasses 20,000+ distribution outlets, 165+ branches, processing over 6 Mn transactions per annum.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said, “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 and loyal distribution base and high levels of commitment to their customers.”
With this move, Sat Paul Bansal, the founding CMD of Paul Merchants will serve as the Chairman of the Board of Ebix’s combined remittance company. The acquisition of the MTSS Business will expand Ebix’s overall participation in India’s remittance channels. It will allow Ebix’s financial exchange to remit money sent from abroad through Western Union, Ria, Moneygram or Express Money.
Post-acquisition Paul Merchants will take a 10% stake in Ebix’s combined international remittance business entity in India for cash consideration. The agreement is approved by the Paul Merchants Board and is subject to its shareholders and/or other regulatory/commercial approvals.
Ebix is an international supplier of on-demand software and ecommerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries. With 40+ offices across Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and the UK, Ebix powers multiple exchanges across the world.
This is Ebix’s third remittance related acquisition over the last 45 days and comes right after it acquired YouFirst Money Express and the asset purchase of Wall Street Finance Limited. On August 17, the on-demand software and ecommerce services supplier took over the MTSS assets of Uttar Pradesh-based Wall Street Finance Ltd for $7.4 Mn.
Earlier, Ebix acquired an 80% stake in ItzCash in May 2017. Ravi Singh, Chief Business Officer at Ebix ItzCash will lead this foray expansion in Money Transfer business. Ravi is a veteran at setting up Distributions Networks for India telecom space and was earlier head of operations at the Western Union.
With over 75,000 physical retail outlets for ItzCash’s financial exchange, the three MTSS business acquisitions will allow it to push reach to about 114K outlets across the country. Ebix’s ItzCash service is already claiming a domestic remittance volume of approximately $100 Mn per month.
Ebix’s ItzCash exchange currently processes approximately 600K transactions per day and claims to witness approximately $2 Bn in annual payment volume. With this acquisition of Paul Merchants Limited, Ebix will look to strengthen its remittance business in India.