Ebix to Acquire India’s Largest Inward International Remittance Business from Paul Merchants Limited for $40.7M


JOHNS CREEK, Ga., Sept. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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), for approximately $40.7 million, through one of its Indian subsidiaries. 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 other regulatory/commercial approvals. The customary process for such approvals can take a timeline of 45 to 60 days. As a part of the agreement, Paul Merchants will also take a 10% stake in Ebix’s combined international remittance business in India, for a 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 Satpaul 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 said, “Paul Merchants has led the Indian markets in the international remittance exchange business. Under the leadership of Satpaul, 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. Satpaul 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 assets into our two other MTSS acquisitions will place Ebix in a very strong position to implement our vision related to Financial Exchanges in India.”

About Ebix, Inc.

A leading international supplier of On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, Ebix, Inc. provides end-to-end On-Demand solutions ranging from infrastructure exchanges, front end & back end enterprise systems, outsourced administrative & custom software development solutions, and risk compliance solutions for various entities involved in these industries.

With 40+ offices across Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and the UK, Ebix powers multiple exchanges across the world in the field of life, annuity, health and property & casualty insurance while conducting in excess of $100 billion in insurance premiums annually on its platforms. Through its various SaaS-based software platforms, Ebix employs hundreds of domain specific business and technology professionals to provide products, support and consultancy to thousands of customers on six continents. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.ebix.com

About Paul Merchants Limited

Paul Merchants Limited (BSE:PML), an ISO 9001:2008 certified Company for its quality procedures & processes, is the flagship company of the "PAUL GROUP OF COMPANIES." The group is a diversified conglomerate having prominent interests in International Money Transfer, Foreign Exchange, Finance, Satellite TV, and Tours & Travels. Under the aegis of specific RBI Licenses, PML offers International Money Transfer and Forex Services from its widespread network consisting of own offices and Franchisee locations of more than 22,000 across India. PML is amongst leading players in Forex as RBI Licensed Authorized Dealer II. Further, PML is fast emerging name in Tours & Travels having IATA accreditation besides having affiliation with Indian Ministry of Tourism. For more information, visit the Company’s website at http://www.paulmerchants.net

About ItzCash

An Ebix Group Company now, ItzCash Card Ltd., India’s leading Digital Payments fintech was established in 2006. A pioneer in the prepaid payments in India, ItzCash initiated the concept of ‘digital cash’ to the Indian consumer and various business entities, heralding the beginning towards enabling a cashless transacting society. ItzCash continues to build on its innovation augmenting its product portfolio offering wide choice of payments and money transfer service having issued 110 million accounts to date. It constantly invests in upgrading technology towards creating world‐class Omni-channel payments platforms for the emerging India. ItzCash has presence across consumer segments serving 35 million consumers annually and over 75,000 franchisees branded as “ItzCash World” in 3000+ cities and towns. For further details, visit www.itzcash.com

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