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Indian online travel booking company Yatra has terminated a pending merger agreement with Atlanta-based software firm Ebix and filed a litigation seeking “substantial damages” over alleged breach of deal terms.

In July last year, Ebix announced its plan to acquire Yatra, giving the Indian firm an enterprise value of $ 337.8 million, in a move to strengthen its position in India’s hotel and flight ticketing market.

Late Friday, Ebix said it had provided a notice to terminate the deal. In its complaint, Yatra said it seeks to “hold Ebix accountable for breaches of its representations, warranties and covenants in the merger agreement and an ancillary extension agreement, and seeks substantial damages,” it said in a statement.

“As detailed in the complaint, Ebix’s conduct breached material terms of the agreements and frustrated Yatra’s ability to close the transaction and obtain the benefit of Yatra’s bargain for Yatra’s stockholders,” it added.

Ebix did not respond to a request for comment.

On Friday, Yatra also shared an update on its financials, saying it had implemented several cost-saving measures including cutting management salaries by half across the company to steer through the coronavirus pandemic that has put a halt on most travel and hospitality activities worldwide.

The company said as of June 4 it had $ 32.5 million in total available liquidity and its current monthly run-rate operating fixed cost was about $ 1.2 million.

Yatra, which went public in 2016 following a reverse-merger with listed company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation, counts India’s Network18, Reliance Capital, Macquarie Group and Rotation Capital among its shareholders. It handles real-time bookings for more than 108,000 hotels and home stays in India and over 1.5 million hotels around the world, it said.


TechCrunch

A proposed merger between Fiat Chrysler -Renault that would have created the third largest global automaker, is off. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles withdrew its offer, the Wall Street Journal reported.

FCA confirmed to TechCrunch that it has withdrawn its offer, largely due to political conditions.

“FCA remains firmly convinced of the compelling, transformational rationale of a proposal that
has been widely appreciated since it was submitted, the structure and terms of which were
carefully balanced to deliver substantial benefits to all parties,” according to a company statement provided to TechCrunch. “However, it has become clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully.”

FCA delivered May 27 a non-binding letter to Renault’s board that proposed combining the business as a 50-50 merger. FCA’s proposal illustrated the growing desire among automakers to consolidate, or form partnerships, in an environment of increasing regulatory pressure, declining sales and rising costs associated with next-generation technologies such as autonomous vehicle technology. Earlier Wednesday, BMW and Jaguar announced a collaboration on developing next-generation electric vehicle components.

Under the proposal, the combined businesses would have been split equally between FCA and Renault shareholders. The board would be a combined entity of 11 members, FCA said. The majority would be independent. FCA and Renault would get equal represent with four members ea

The WSJ  reported that Nissan Motor, French automaker Renault’s existing partner, was the primary sticking point in the merger. Renault has an alliance with Nissan Motor. Under that alliance, Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan. Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault.

The relationship between Renault and Nissan Motor has become stressed in the fallout over the arrest of former Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn and subsequent power struggle, share vehicle parts and collaborate on technology.

This is a developing story.


TechCrunch

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