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Aug. 31, 2021, 10:17 a.m. EDT

Prosus makes a $4.7 billion deal to buy online payments platform in India

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By Alexandra Wexler

JOHANNESBURG—European technology giant Prosus NV /zigman2/quotes/214038022/delayed NL:PRX +3.68% said it struck a $4.7 billion deal—its largest-ever acquisition—to buy Indian payments platform BillDesk, the latest investor bet that more and more consumers will conduct transactions online.

Amsterdam-listed Prosus, which is majority-owned by South African holding company Naspers Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200001997/delayed NPSNY +4.96% , said its payments and fintech subsidiary PayU will pay 345 billion rupees, equivalent to $4.72 billion, for BillDesk in an all-cash deal. Prosus shares rose 5% Tuesday following the announcement.

The acquisition will bring Prosus’s cumulative investment in Indian tech to more than $10 billion since 2005, as the company seeks to profit from what was the world’s fastest-growing major economy before the coronavirus pandemic.

BillDesk, which currently competes with Prosus’s PayU in India, allows its customers to aggregate invoices and organize, pay and manage their bills in one place. Founded in 2000, it generated an after-tax profit of $36.8 million in the year ended March, while its net assets were valued at about $256.9 million largely in cash and cash equivalents.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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