Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector lender has emerged as one of the key-runner in the race to acquire e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal owned Freecharge, a digital payments platform founded by Kunal Shah.
This payments platform has been seeking a suitable buyer since long, even as its parent company negotiates the terms for its own sale.
Axis Bank is currently conducting due diligence on FreeCharge. According to M&A experts, the deal may turn out to a be of USD 20-50 million to Snapdeal.
FreeCharge was earlier acquired by Jasper in 2015 in a cash-and-stock deal estimated around USD 400-450 million in what was the largest acquisition of any Indian startup back then.
Freecharge has been in continuous talks with many companies for the past one year, but nothing seemed to work out.
In May, it was reported that Alibaba-backed Paytm had signed a non-exclusive term sheet while making a bid of USD 10-15 million for FreeCharge, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Snapdeal itself has been looking for a buyer for quite some time. Snapdeal however, recently had rejected the offer made by India’s leading ecommerce platform Flipkart because it was not close to its supposed opening bid of $1 billion.