South Africa-based Internet and media group Naspers is looking to exit a five-year old investment it made in B2B travel platform Travel Boutique Online (TBO), people directly familiar with the matter said.
Naspers is said to have approached online travel services providers MakeMyTrip and Yatra, as well as financial investors for its stake in the business.
The media group last year orchestrated an estimated $2 billion merger between Goibibo, a company controlled by it, and Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, becoming the largest shareholder in the combined entity.
Naspers is seeking a valuation of Rs 300 crore for TBO. TBO’s founders, Ankush Nijhawan and Gaurav Batra, have also offered to buy the stake, the people said. Naspers owns 52 per cent of TBO’s parent, Tek Travels, through a Mauritius-based unit.
Nijhawan and Batra hold the remaining stake. A spokesperson for Naspers refused to comment when contacted by ET. Nijhawan also declined to comment in an emailed response. TBO offers a gamut of travel services, such as airline, train and hotel reservation and holiday package deals to travel agents and acts as an aggregator of these services.
It helps charter helicopters and also provides car rental, bus bookings and travel insurance services. Its services are accessed by 25,000 travel agents in India and the Middle East.
The company has 45 offices in India and an office in Dubai. It posted more than Rs 200 crore in revenue for the financial year ended March 2016. Naspers purchased a controlling stake in TBO in 2012 for an undisclosed sum.
The online travel industry is witnessing consolidation. As players acquire scale it will help to reduce cash burn and increase their bargaining power with vendors”, Sanjeev Krishan, Leader – Deal Advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers India, said. “We are also seeing a convergence of online and offline models, Krishan added.
Yatra.com, India’s second-largest online travel operator, recently acquired corporate travel services firm Air Travel Bureau (ATB), in a deal estimated at $22.5 million-$27.5 million, to build its capability to serve corporate customers.
A recent report by Google and global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group estimates that the online hotel bookings industry in India will grow to $4 billion by 2020, as the country’s internet user base doubles over the same period to 650 million users.
It also attributed increasing consumer spend on leisure travel and growing supply of hotels in the budget and mid-scale categories, as factors that would drive the spurt in value of transactions.
Naspers has backed a number of ventures in India such as Flipkart, India’s largest online retailer, payments platform PayU and auto classifieds platform Gaadi.com, amongst others.