April 17, 2024

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India’s Byju’s looks to raise $1 billion with sale of Great Learning, Epic

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India’s Byju’s looks to raise  billion with sale of Great Learning, Epic

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Indian education giant Byju’s is looking to sell two companies it acquired in 2021 – Great Learning and Epic – to raise up to $1 billion in an effort to streamline its businesses and repay lenders, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Byju’s, valued at $22 billion last year, has experienced a series of business crises, including its auditor and board members quitting, and has been negotiating the repayment of a $1.2 billion loan in the last few months.

Backed by investors such as General Atlantic, Prosus and Silver Lake, Byju’s could also sell more assets in the future to raise cash, both sources said.

A spokesperson for Byju’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While Epic is a U.S-based reading platform which Byju’s acquired for $500 million, Great Learning is an Indian company providing upskilling courses and degrees, which Byju’s acquired for $600 million.

Byju’s is expecting up to a billion dollars in total- about $400-550 million for Epic and $350-450 million for Great Learning, part of a “business turnaround strategy” the second source with direct knowledge said.

Indian business daily Economic Times reported the plan earlier on Monday.

Byju’s plans to sell the two companies are part of a “strategy review” to divest from other business lines and focus on its original area of K-12 (kindergarten through secondary) education area, the source said.

Byju’s has received term sheets to sell Epic, the second source said, although the source did not specify from whom. In addition to other education companies, Byju’s also plans to tap private equity investors to sell the two companies, the first source said.

Both sources did not want to be named due to the private nature of the discussions.

In June, three of Byju’s investor board members quit the company’s board without explanation, leaving only company executives on the board. The same day, its auditor Deloitte quit mid-way through its audit, saying there was a “significant impact” on its ability to perform the audit according to necessary standards after “long-delayed” financial statements by the company.

Three senior executives, including the company’s business head quit their jobs last month.

Reporting by M. Sriram and Aditya Kalra; editing by David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Sriram leads Reuters’ deals coverage in India, including reporting and writing on private equity funds, IPOs, venture capital, corporate M&A and regulatory changes. His reportage includes scoops on large transactions as well as deeper analyses and insightful stories on the inner workings of companies, funds and industry trends that fly below the radar. He is a business journalist for five years by training, with a postgraduation from the Asian College of Journalism’s Bloomberg program in financial journalism. He graduated from the course’s inaugural batch. Contact: +919632913911

Aditya Kalra is the Company News Editor for Reuters in India, overseeing business coverage and reporting stories on some of the world’s biggest companies. He joined Reuters in 2008 and has in recent years written stories on challenges and strategies of a wide array of companies — from Amazon, Google and Walmart to Xiaomi, Starbucks and Reliance. He also extensively works on deeply-reported and investigative business stories.

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