May 29, 2024

Investments & Exits

BillDesk Deal Falls Through: Prosus Cancels India’s largest M&A acquisition.

Naspers-owned Prosus has abandoned its $4.7 billion deal for BillDesk, India’s largest payments aggregator.

The process was scheduled for 45 days, but the two companies have decided to call it off.

Prosus has announced that the proposed transaction between the two companies will not happen as some conditions were not met by 30 September 2022. The board’s decision is final, and the deal won’t change. This is likely the first time a big deal has been scrapped after anti-trust approval.

The termination of India’s second-largest M&A transaction is reportedly due to the global financial crisis and changing regulatory landscape. Walmart’s $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart was the biggest deal, and since then, tech stocks have plummeted, and startups have been revalued worldwide. Klarna, a Swedish buy-now-pay-later company, raised $639 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 in 2021 at $45.6 billion; international media valued it at $6.5 billion.

Naspers has reduced its stake in Tencent, transferring $7.6 billion in shares to Hong Kong’s clearing and settlement system for the market. This move was likely made in response to Tencent’s recent financial struggles.

Despite repeated attempts, BillDesk’s backers were unreachable. This is another reason Prosus should rethink the issue. India’s payment market is evolving, and investors are uncertain if the CCI’s approval takes a year while the payments ecosystem is still being built.


Prosus has long invested in and owned businesses in India. Since 2005, the company has invested $6 billion in Indian tech organisations.

BillDesk’s acquisition would have cost the company over $10 billion in the US. DeHaat, Meesho, Good Glamm Group, Byju’s, and Mensa Brands are other companies in the race to become the next big unicorn in India.

Anirban Mukherjee, CEO of PayU India, said the acquisition would result in more product releases.

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