Digital marketing solutions company Ybrant Digital Ltd is raising funds from Experian plc after reaching an agreement to buy certain assets from the firm for $175 million earlier this year. The British credit information company, which is listed on London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 100 Index, is expected to appoint a director to the board of Hyderabad-based company.
"Experian believes that the combination of Ybrant and the assets that were acquired is going to be very strong. They were keen to participate on an equity upside," Suresh Reddy, chairman and MD of Ybrant, told VCCircle.
In May this year, Ybrant Digital entered into an agreement to acquire PriceGrabber, LowerMyBills and ClassesUSA.com from Experian, which is currently one of the top five Internet advertisers in the US. Ybrant had said that it would acquire these three businesses for $175 million (around Rs 938 crore), including $100 million in cash and another $75 million in a bridge loan from ICICI Bank and Credit Suisse.
"One advantage is that they (Experian) bring in experience in running large companies across the world. We have also asked them to join our board of directors," added Reddy.
The shares of Ybrant closed at Rs 78, down by 2.92 per cent on Tuesday in a Mumbai market up by over 1 per cent. This gives Ybrant a market capitalisation of Rs 3,949 crore.
Experian currently operates two companies in India - Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Ltd and Experian Services India Private Ltd.
Ybrant is also raising Rs 100 crore through optionally convertible loan instruments (OCL) placed with ICICI Bank and Credit Suisse, who also provided debt for acquisition of Experian assets.
Last year, Ybrant initiated a reverse merger process with IT outsourcing services provider LGS Global, which resulted in Ybrant's shares getting listed last month. This also provided liquidity to Ybrant's private equity investors like Oak Investment Partners and Asia Pacific Capital. Currently, Asia Pacific Capital (through Everest Capital) holds 13.69 per cent stake, Oak has 7.27 per cent stake and Sansar Capital holds 10.44 per cent stake.
Started in 2000, Ybrant Digital offers digital marketing solutions to businesses, agencies and online publishers globally. The firm has offices in 20 countries, including the US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine, Serbia, Israel, China, India and Australia. Moreover, it has partners in Spain, Greece and the Netherlands.
Ybrant acquired several global businesses over the past five years, including Lycos (in an all-stock deal in August 2010), Australian ad network Max Interactive and Argentina-based ad network Dream Ad (in 2009), Israeli company Oridian (for $13 million), Serbia-based Seenetix (in 2007), US-based MediosOne (in 2006) and also ad network AdDynamix (for $10 million). The company also picked up minority stake in Israel-based Web 3.0 in an all-cash deal in June 2011.
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(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)