By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- Prosus (OTC: PROSF ), the Naspers-owned tech holding company, said on Monday it is walking away from a $4.7 billion deal to buy India's BillDesk, in another blow for an Indian payments sector already shaken by sharp falls in valuations this year.
The move, which would have made the Dutch-listed Prosus one of the world's largest payment groups by total payment volume, had been stalled for nearly a year, during which time valuations for growth companies of all kinds have plummeted due to the rising global interest rate trend.
Prosus said the deal had been automatically terminated because BillDesk hadn't met certain conditions by a September 30th deadline. The Financial Times quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Prosus had rejected an offer by BillDesk to extend the deadline last week, and that it was unlikely that Prosus would return to the deal.
The size and rapid growth rate of the Indian payments market had made for some rich valuations in the sector in recent years, and the deal's collapse reflects the struggles of BillDesk's biggest rivals in recent months. Zomato stock has lost over half its value since floating, while Paytm owner One97 Communications has lost two-thirds of its value since it listed.
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