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Byju’s Aakash bags $168 Mn from Ranjan Pai to clear Davidson Kempner’s debt


Manipal Education and Medical Group chairman Ranjan Pai has invested around Rs 1,400 crore (approximately $168 million) in Byju’s Aakash to help the latter get out of the debt raised from Davidson Kempner in May this year.

As per an ET and Moneycontrol report, the transaction closed earlier today. The Rs 1,400 crore loan comprises Rs 800 crore principal amount and Rs 600 crore interest.

The US-based Davidson Kempner invested in Aakash through a debt arrangement with Byju’s in May this year. The edtech giant had shelled out $1 billion to acquire Aakash in April 2021.

The investment is indeed a sigh of relief for the Byju’s which has been struggling to pay its debt for quite a while. The firm is also planning to sell its kids’ reading platform Epic and higher education platform Great Learning as it looks to repay the $1.2 billion loan it took in November 2021.

Meanwhile, a Delaware judge has reportedly ruled in favour of its lenders including Redwood Investments LLC and Silver Point Capital LP in the ongoing loan dispute.

The judgment said that both the lenders were within their contractual rights to take control of Byju’s unit called Byju’s Alpha, due to a default on the loan.

Byju’s declined to comment on both the developments.

Byju’s-parent Think & Learn recently disclosed that its core unit (excluding all acquisitions) saw a 2.3x growth to reach a total income of Rs 3,569 crore in FY22 from Rs 1,552 crore in the previous fiscal year. The company has also managed to reduce its EBITDA loss from Rs 2,406 crore in FY21 to Rs 2,253 crore in FY22. The firm is yet to file its audited FY22 and FY23 numbers with RoC.

Last month, the company roped in Nitin Golani to replace Ajay Goel as CFO. Golani is said to have played a crucial role in Byju’s $1 billion acquisition of Aakash in 2021.

The firm also announced the appointment of Arjun Mohan as the CEO of India operations. Soon after Mohan’s hiring, Byju’s fired 3,000-4,000 employees as part of a business restructuring exercise to simplify operating structures, reduce the cost base and better cash flow management.

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