Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) has entered into definitive agreements with shareholders of Meru Travel Solutions Private Limited (Meru) to buy their respective stakes in Meru. With these agreements worth around Rs 97.66 crore, M&M will become the owners of Meru.
The listed company would acquire 44.14 per cent shares from Private Equity investor, True North and others for an amount not exceeding Rs. 76.03 crore and 12.66 per cent shares from Neeraj Gupta and Farhat Gupta, for an amount not exceeding Rs 21.63 crore. With this arrangement, M&M will enhance its current shareholding in Meru from 43.20 per cent to 100 per cent.
Meru Cabs, a ridesharing company founded in 2006 revolutionized the way people travelled in cabs by offering AC cabs at their doorstep with a single call. Today, Meru has a significant presence in the airport transfer business, operating in the ride hail segment and providing employee transportation services to corporates in India.
Neeraj Gupta, founder CEO and Whole Time Director of Meru and its subsidiary company Meru Mobility Tech Private Limited and Director of two other Meru subsidiaries - V-Link Automotive Services Private Limited and V-Link Fleet Solutions Private Limited will be stepping down effective close of business hours of April 30, 2021. He will continue as an employee until June 30, 2021.
Pravin Shah, who was earlier President Automotive, M&M till March 2017 will be the CEO of Meru and its subsidiary companies, with effect from May 1, 2021.
Commenting on the acquisition, Anish Shah, MD and CEO, Mahindra Group said, “At the outset, I would like to thank Neeraj Gupta and the team at Meru for building a pioneering brand in the shared mobility space in India. Our association with Meru is built on our compelling strategy to scale our shared mobility businesses. Pravin has agreed to take this critical responsibility of the business and to develop sustainable and scalable business strategies.”
Neeraj Gupta said, “The last two decades in the mobility industry, building Meru to become a household name in the country has been exhilarating. The time is right for me to pursue newer interests and hand over Meru in the safe hands of the Mahindra Group, one of the finest corporate houses in the country. ”