March 11, 2019 / 2:11 PM / in a month

Software firm Ebix offers to buy India's ticketing firm Yatra

(Reuters) - U.S. software firm Ebix Inc said on Monday it has offered to buy Indian travel services company Yatra Online Inc for $336 million in a cash-and-stock deal to add to its portfolio of Indian travel companies with a focus on a niche segment.

The offer price of $7 per share represents a premium of 84 percent to Yatra’s Friday close.

Yatra shares rose 15 percent after the news, while Ebix shares were up marginally on Monday.

Atlanta-based Ebix, which makes software for the insurance, financial, healthcare industries, said it intends to merge Yatra Online in its Indian EbixCash subsidiary set up. It expects the deal to add between 25 to 30 cents for the shareholders of the combined company.

EbixCash bought Mumbai-based Mercury Travels and Delhi-based Leisure Corp last year with an aim to create a travel division focused on luxury, events and sports related travelers.

Ebix said on Monday it might reduce its offer if it does not receive a positive response from Yatra’s board. It also reserved the right to withdraw the offer if Yatra declines to allow the company to proceed with due diligence by March 18.

Yatra could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shailesh Kuber

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