Ybrant Digital's $175M deal with Experian falls through

Indian digital marketing company fails to meet the deadline to purchase three price comparison sites from Experian--a deal which was announced in May this year.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Digital marketing company Ybrant Digital was not able to pay the US$175 million for Experian's three price comparison Web sites--PriceGrabber, LowerMyBills and ClassesUSA.co--in time, despite assurances from the former that finances were in place.

According to a report by Times of India on Thursday, Ybrant Digital was supposed to pay US$100 million in cash and a deferred payment of US$75 million for the three Web sites. However, it informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday the deal could not be completed in time.

"The proposed deal to buy the Experian properties could not be completed within the committed timeline. The company is working toward the same and shall notify the Exchange as soon as some concrete developments occur," the Hyderabad-based company stated.

A separate report by the Financial Times (FT) on Wednesday revealed both companies were discussing altering the terms of the deal in the lead-up to the deadline, but Experian declined to comment on what these new terms are while Ybrant Digital could not be reached.

The report added Experian deems Ybrant's failure to complete the deal as a "breach of contract", although it did not state whether the U.K. company will be pursuing legal action against the digital marketing firm.

Experian will continue to explore options to sell the price comparison sites, which remain "non-core", and will issue further announcements in due course. The credit analysis company paid US$485 million in 2005 for PriceGrabber and LowerMyBills and has been looking to sell these assets since 2008 when it decided to focus on data and credit analysis, the FT stated.

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