Editorial Team

BSE and NSE listed (BSE: 540073; NSE: BLS), BLS International, a trusted global tech-enabled services partner for governments and citizens, announced today that it has acquired Mumbai headquartered, largest business correspondent in the country – Zero Mass Private Ltd (ZMPL). With this all cash acquisition from company internal accruals, BLS becomes the largest business correspondent network in India.

ZMPL has been operating the largest BC network for State Bank of India (“SBI”) with around 11,500 active CSPs (~15% of all the SBI BCs). The company has pan-India presence with CSPs located across all States and Union Territories of India. Apart from SBI, ZMPL has contracts with Utkal Grameen Bank and Karur Vysya Bank. Incorporated in 2007, ZMPL accounts for 5-6% of the bank accounts, deposit base and aggregate value of transaction of the BC system in India. The proposed transaction is carried out through BLS E-Services Limited, 100% subsidiary of BLS. Through this acquisition, BLS International intends to expand and consolidate its BC Business.

Commenting on this, Mr. Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International said, “We are excited to welcome ZMPL team on-board as it strengthens our business correspondent vertical for the next phase of growth. We believe that through this acquisition, the collective experiences of teams will build synergies and further help BLS to enhance its reach to deliver trusted banking services to the rural and semi-rural India. We have all seen that business correspondent network are a critical last mile link in the Indian banking system to bring greater financial iinclusion. This acquisition shall result in substantial increase in our touch points from ~3,060 to 14,500+ CSPs, which BLS would seek to leverage through multiple initiatives in future.”

BLS has agreed to acquire 100% equity shares of ZMPL for an equity consideration of INR 120 Crores, including entire stake of 63.94% held by Mr. Anurag Gupta (main promoter). Pursuant to the transactions already completed, BLS now owns 88.26% equity stake in ZMPL. State Bank of India continues to hold 6.83% Equity stake in ZMPL.

Lagrange Point Advisors LLP, Mumbai based M&A advisory firm, acted as the sole advisor to BLS for this transaction.

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