Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) has just announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with shareholders of Meru Travel Solutions Private Limited (Meru) in order to buy their respective stakes in Meru. As per the company’s press release, M&M would acquire 44.14% shares from Private Equity investor, True North and others for Rs 76.03 crores. Apart from this, it would also acquire 12.66% shares from Neeraj Gupta and Farhat Gupta, for an amount of Rs 21.63 crores. With this, M&M will be able to enhance its current shareholding in Meru from 43.20% to a full 100%. Meru Cabs that was founded in the year 2006 revolutionized the way people travelled by offering AC cabs at their doorstep with just a call. Meru currently has a significant presence in the airport transfer business, operating in the ride-hail segment and also, providing employee transportation services to corporates in the country.
The announcement also states that 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 from his position and this will be effective close of business hours of 30th April, 2021. He, however, will continue as an employee until 30th June 2021. On the other hand, Pravin Shah, who was earlier President Automotive, M&M till March 2017 will be the new CEO of Meru and its subsidiary companies starting 1st May 2021.
Speaking on the acquisition, Anish Shah, MD and CEO, Mahindra Group said that at the outset, he would thank Neeraj Gupta and the team at Meru for building a pioneering brand in the shared mobility space in the country. He added that the association with Meru is built on the brand’s compelling strategy to scale its shared mobility businesses. He concluded his statement by saying that Pravin has agreed to take this critical responsibility of the business and to develop sustainable and scalable business strategies.
On the other hand, Neeraj Gupta said that the last last two decades in the mobility industry, building Meru to become a household name in the country has been exhilarating. He stated that the time is right for him to pursue newer interests and hand over Meru in the safe hands of the Mahindra Group. He believes that under the able leadership of Anish Shah, Meru will rise to greater heights in the times to come.
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