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The country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank today said it has acquired payments wallet Freecharge for Rs 373 crore in an all-cash deal and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO. "Pursuant to the receipt of approval for the said transaction from Reserve Bank of India, the bank has completed the acquisition of Freecharge for a cash consideration of 373.27 crore, on a cash free, debt free basis," Axis Bank said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges. Sangram Singh has been appointed as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Private Ltd, it said. The bank had in July announced plans to acquire Freecharge subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals. Axis Banks had said the acquisition will double the customer base of the bank and leapfrog its digital journey by multiple years. Freecharge presently has a revenue of about Rs 80 crore. Snapdeal had bought Freecharge in April 2015 for an estimated $400 million or over Rs 2,500 crore at current rates.
At that time, this was touted as the largest deal in the nascent start-up ecosystem in India.Acquisition gives Axis Bank access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well as about 150 to 200 professionals.
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