Naspers Checks Out From India’s Travel E-portal MakeMyTrip, Leaving China’s Ctrip As Biggest Stakeholder

By  |  April 27, 2019

South Africa’s internet giant Naspers Ltd has checked out of India’s largest online travel e-portal MakeMyTrip. The development is the result of a share-swap with one of China’s largest online travel agencies International Ltd.

As a result of the transaction, the Nasdaq-listed online travel gateway now has Ctrip as its largest shareholder, with the stake increasing to about 49 percent. The deal which also transfers 4 percent voting rights to the Chinese company, was done in exchange for 5.6 percent of the Ctrip’s shares.

MakeMyTrip has a market capitalization of around USD 2.69 Bn, and Ctrip’s is at USD 23.5 Bn. Both Naspers and the Chinese company invested a collective USD 330 Mn in MakeMyTrip two years ago, after the travel e-portal’s portfolio company, Ibibo Group joined forces with it in January 2017. As of January 2016, the Chinese company had invested USD 180 Mn in MakeMyTrip.

Another Exit

Because it is an exchange of shares, there no money involved in the deal, marking the South African company’s yet another exit. The media and technology conglomerate sold the majority of its stake in B2B travel platform, Travel Boutique Online (TBO), marking a strong exit in India in the space of three months. It was Standard Chartered Equity – the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank – bought a 49 percent take in Gurgaon-based TBO from Naspers.

According to Crunchbase, Naspers had made a total of 15 exits, prominent of which was the hands-off from Tencent Holdings and Delivery Hero alongside the recent Chinese online travel agency. Now, scoring an IRR of about 32 percent, the group sold out an 11.2 percent stake in MakeMyTrip for about USD 2.2 Bn, making the new development the South African group’s second exit in the company.

Meanwhile, Naspers had revealed earlier, in March, of its intention to list its main internet businesses on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Going by the details of the transaction, the South African company would be taking Tencent Holdings, Russian internet platform and German food delivery business Delivery Hero to the public.

Asian Kingpin

While the development from Naspers marks its second exit in India after TBO, the current share price of MakeMyTrip is at USD 2.69 Bn, and Ctrip’s at an overall valuation of USD 23.5 Bn. In this industry, the only company known to have a higher valuation is Booking Holdings, which has a current market cap of USD 84 Bn. Per data obtainable from Crunchbase, MakeMyTrip has raised USD 548 Mn across four funding rounds. The e-portal platform which has six investors, has also acquired four organizations, with the most recent being Ibibo Group in October 2016 for USD 720 Mn.

“MakeMyTrip has transformed travel in India and beyond since 2000. The agreement we have announced today is a significant step in the growth ambitions of both MakeMyTrip and Ctrip, and we believe, continuing to support them as a shareholder will create additional value for Naspers and our shareholders,” said Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.

The development marks Naspers’ second exit in India, following its exit from online retailer Flipkart when the e-commerce platform was bought by Walmart Inc. last year.

“We have worked with Ctrip in the past years and are excited to take this partnership to the next level,” said Deep Kalra, chairman and group chief executive officer (CEO), MakeMyTrip. “We will leverage this investment to benefit from the tremendous growth potential in travel and tourism between our two countries.”

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