HomeBUSINESSByju’s to settle Blackstone dues for Aakash deal in Sept

Byju’s to settle Blackstone dues for Aakash deal in Sept


MUMBAI : Edtech unicorn Byju’s is likely to settle dues of $180 million to Aakash Educational Services shareholder Blackstone Inc. by September-end, two people in the know said.

Byju’s had agreed to acquire Aakash Educational Services in April 2021 in a $950-million cash and stock deal, and made partial payments to its shareholders. In all, Blackstone was to receive $400 million.

“Around $220 million has been paid to Blackstone, with $180 million pending,” one of the people said, seeking anonymity. In June, both parties had mutually agreed on a two-month extension.

The payments were earlier scheduled to be closed by the end of August, a Byju’s spokesperson said on 5 July. Back then, Byju’s said in a statement that payments to Aakash had been closed. Mint wrote on 12 July, that Byju’s had time till August end to pay Blackstone.

However, subsequently, the deadline was renegotiated to September-end, they added.

“The transaction continues to be on track and is in final stages. Blackstone is expecting the final tranche within the next 4-5 weeks as per schedule,” the second person said also requesting anonymity.

The three parties have separately filed documents before the National Company Law Tribunal for merging AESL with Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, the parent of Byju’s. “It is in the process according to government guidelines and process,” a third person familiar with the development said.

Blackstone will also receive additional shares amounting to 0.75-1% in Byju’s after the merger process is approved by the NCLT, as reported by Mint on 6 July. Blackstone’s Strategic Opportunities Fund owns an unspecified stake in Byju’s, having invested in the company separately in June 2021 as part of a nearly $340-million funding round.

Byju’s is valued by its shareholders at about $23 billion. It has so far raised nearly $6 billion from more than 70 investors, including General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Sofina and CPPIB. Its auditor Deloitte is yet to file the FY21 financial statements, which were due in December 2021. Blackstone and Byju’s declined to comment on the story.

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