Prosus scraps $4.7 billion BillDesk deal, one of India's biggest

Prosus' logo is pictured on a smartphone in this illustration taken, December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Investor Prosus NV said on Monday a $4.7 billion deal to buy BillDesk, which would have been one of the largest in India's financial technology sector, was "terminated", saying conditions of the deal had not been met.

Indian antitrust regulator had approved the acquisition on Sept. 5, more than a year after it was announced, despite concerns BillDesk's combination with Prosus-owned PayU would lead to concentration on India's payments market.

But in a short statement, Prosus said "certain conditions were not fulfilled" by a Sept. 30 deadline and "the agreement has terminated automatically in accordance with its terms."

BillDesk could not immediately be reached for comment.

A spokesperson for Prosus said there was no break fee associated with the deal, but declined to comment on reasons for the cancellation.

"The consistent pushback from investors had been around the valuation and price being paid for BillDesk," said Citi analysts in a note.

"With no further details ... what we don’t know is whether Prosus’ PayU could make another offer for BillDesk at a lower price."

Fintech valuations have fallen sharply since Prosus announced plans to buy BillDesk.

Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk said in the company's annual report in June that the merger of PayU with BillDesk would create a "top-10 online payments company globally", substantially increasing the company's scale in India and strengthening its digital banking arm -- "pending regulatory approval."

BillDesk processed $92 billion of payments in the year ended March 31, 2021 and had a net profit of 2.71 billion Indian rupees ($37.05 million) for that period.

Prosus shares were down 0.9% at 53.51 euros at 0955 GMT in Amsterdam.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling, Editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum)

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