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Prosus bids $4.7bn for Indian fintech firm BillDesk

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Prosus group CEO Bob van Dijk.
Prosus group CEO Bob van Dijk.

PayU, the fintech business of Naspers unit Prosus, has reached an agreement to acquire Indian digital payments provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion.

Prosus announced today that the proposed transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India, builds on previous successful acquisitions by PayU in India, including CitrusPay, Paysense and Wibmo.

The company says the proposed acquisition will bolster PayU, which operates in more than 20 high-growth markets, as it seeks to become one of the leading online payment providers globally by total payment volume.

PayU focuses on payments for domestic and cross-border transactions, credit solutions for consumers and small businesses, as well as strategic investments in innovative fintech companies.

Prosus says BillDesk, founded in 2000, is an Indian success story that fits well within PayU’s strategic objectives.

According to the company, PayU India and BillDesk run complementary businesses within India’s digital payment industry. Together, it notes, the two expect to create a financial ecosystem handling four billion transactions annually – four times PayU’s current level in India.

“Our announcement today reflects Prosus’s desire to build valuable, global consumer internet businesses that provide useful products and services for millions of people in their everyday lives. Along with classifieds, food delivery and education technology, payments and fintech is a core segment for Prosus, and India remains our number one investment destination,” says Bob van Dijk, group CEO of Prosus.

Laurent Le Moal, CEO of PayU, comments that the proposed deal will stimulate innovation and competition within India’s digital payments industry.

“This will not only help to strengthen India’s digital economy, but also bring financial services to those who may have historically been excluded. This ambition is fully aligned with the government of India’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and is a key objective for PayU across all the communities we serve globally.

“This deal is an example of how our purpose and our business objectives work together, accelerating growth and increasing access to financial services.”

MN Srinivasu, co-founder of BillDesk, comments: “BillDesk has been a pioneer in driving digital payments in India for well over a decade. This investment by Prosus validates the significant opportunity in India for digital payments that is being propelled by innovation and the progressive regulatory framework put in place by the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank.

“BillDesk has always been committed to making payments faster, easier and more secure. We are excited about what the two great teams at BillDesk and PayU can deliver together as a driving force within the evolving digital payments landscape in India.”

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