Byju’s Collaborates with Leading Investors like Prosus, Peak XV, and More For Efficient Restructuring and Asset Sale Coordination

By Samrat Pradhan, Correspondent Thursday, 12 October 2023

According to sources, the beleaguered edtech company Byju's has formed a working group of its founders and top investors in order to improve its relationship with its key stakeholders and improve coordination surrounding its ongoing restructuring initiatives and divestitures. 

Prosus, Peak XV Partners (previously Sequoia), General Atlantic, Sofina, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are among the investors on the working group. The Board Advisory Committee (BAC), which includes former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai and former State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar, guided the formation of the firm. The BAC mentors and advises the Byju team, including CEO Byju Raveendran. 

Byju's promoters have been accused of blocking communication with investors, which was mentioned as one of the reasons board members quit in June. The company's relationship with its stakeholders reached a low point when three board members stepped down: GV Ravishankar of Peak XV, Vivian Wu of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Russell Dreisenstock of Prosus. Both Prosus and Peak XV cited the company's governance practices as the basis for their departure.  

"One of the criticisms was that Byju didn't communicate with investors. Pai and Kumar have proposed the creation of a working group. It is not an advising council, but rather a working group. "The group will have regular interactions, and promoters will keep them updated on the progress of the restructuring and other important corporate level developments," said one of the persons familiar with the company's developments. 

Byju Raveendran, wife Divya Gokulnath, and brother Riju Ravindran, the company's promoters and current board members, will keep the working group updated on the progress of the sale of Great Learning and Epic, debt settlement with Davidson Kempner and the $1.2-billion Term-Loan B (TLB), dispute resolution with Aakash promoters on share swap, and conversations about its new funding round. 

The formation of the working group follows the company's decision to sell two of its group companies—higher education platform Great Learning and US-based kids-focused digital reading platform Epic—to obtain funds quickly to meet the TLB repayment commitments. The corporation expects to gain about a billion dollars from these divestitures.  

Last week, BT reported that Great Learning's founders are in early talks to buy the company back from Byju's.  

According to insiders, Byju's would first unload Epic, which it purchased for $500 million in cash and equity in July 2021. While the firm has identified possible suitors for Epic, it is still waiting for a response from the TLB lenders on its repayment proposal. If the modification plan is accepted, the proceeds from a future sale of EPIC will be used to repay the first tranche of $300 million.


Current Issue