US Insurance solution provider Ebix announced on Thursday that one of its Indian subsidiaries had signed an agreement to acquire Mumbai-based Mercury Travels, and Delhi-based Leisure Corp for a cumulative amount of around $14.2 million.
With the acquisitions, Ebix plans to create a new travel division which focuses on a niche segment. Further, the acquisition of the omni-channel businesses would further strengthen Ebix’s position in the financial exchange market in India.
According to a statement from Ebix, the entity, Mercury, will focus on the luxury, events and sports-related traveler will be led by the Leisure Corp Founder Naveen Kundu. The new initiative will rest under EbixCash, Ebix’s India subsidiary.
The company statement said Mercury Exchange will have three components – Mercury Travel’s entire corporate, leisure and adventure related travel business with the exception of its Forex business, Leisure Corp’s entire sports and events related travel business as well as Via.com’s events-based travel business (MICE).
Further, Mercury’s Forex business will be integrated into EbixCash’s existing CDL Forex exchange business. The acquisition of Mercury and Leisure Corp will increase the employee strength of Ebix in India by around 400 employees to approximately 7,600 employees. With the creation of this new luxury Mercury Division, Ebix will now have two brands in travel focused on different niche audiences – Via and Mercury.
Speaking on the acquisition, Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said
“We are excited to be able to bring these two leading companies together, with the goal of creating a pioneering luxury travel initiative. Between this Mercury initiative and our existing Via.com travel initiative, EbixCash is now uniquely positioned as a financial Exchange that has end-to-end travel solutions for all sections of the society.”
Incorporated in 1948 as an Oberoi Hotel Group Company, Mercury is a popular luxury travel brand with a pan India Network of 40 Preferred Sales Agents, 20 Branch offices across 16 major cities in India, 350 employees, and an extended reach in international markets. Leisure Corp was incorporated in 1997 and has a play in events related travel space with a focus on the insurance for incoming luxury travelers.
Being an insurance solution provider, this fits in with Ebix’s core offering. Last year, in May, Ebix had acquired an 80-percent stake in ItzCash for $123 million, giving exit to the payments firm's existing venture capital shareholders. In November, it acquired Via.com, an online travel and assisted ecommerce exchange, through one of its Singapore subsidiaries.
Recently, Co-founder of ItzCash (which got acquired by Ebix) Bhavik Vasa stepped down from the position of Chief Growth Officer of EbixCash, citing personal reason for his departure.
At present, EbixCash claims domestic remittance volumes of approximately $100 million per month. Through its travel portal Via.com, EbixCash has over 110,000 distribution outlets and 8000 corporate clients, processing over 24.5 million transactions every year.