A group of investors, including General Atlantic, Prosus, Peak XV, Sofina, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Verlinvest, have come together to form an informal working group. The group aims is to closely monitor and offer suggestions for the progress of edtech giant, Byju’s.
This newly formed working group is separate from the advisory panel that Byju’s recently established to strengthen the company’s operations. The advisory panel consists of individuals such as former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar and investor TV Mohandas Pai.
Byju’s has highlighted that this working group will provide guidance to the board and CEO Byju Raveendran, particularly in matters related to corporate governance.
The decision to create the working group follows the resignations of representatives from Peak XV, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Prosus from Byju’s board. These departures were attributed to disagreements with the company’s Co-founder and CEO, Raveendran Byju’s.
Notably, GV Ravi Shankar, Vivian Wu and Russel Dreisenstock all resigned abruptly from their positions in June. Subsequently, Prosus released a statement alleging that Byju’s executive leadership did not pay heed to Dreisenstock’s advice and recommendations regarding strategic, operational, legal and governance matters. Peak XV also expressed concerns about the lack of transparency within the edtech’s management, which prompted Ravishankar’s departure from the board.
Amidst these developments, Byju’s statutory auditor, Deloitte, also parted ways due to similar disagreements. BDO has since taken over as the new statutory auditor.
These recent events come at a critical juncture for Byju’s as it seeks investment of up to USD 300 million from Ranjan Pai, chairman of Manipal Group, for its offline unit, Aakash. Pai plans to invest USD 170 million initially, followed by subsequent investments.
Furthermore, Byju’s is actively exploring the sale of two of its US-based subsidiaries, Great Learning and Epic, with the goal of raising up to USD 1 billion. The proceeds from this sale will be used to repay the company’s USD 1.2 billion term loan B. To protect the charged assets of Great Learning, the lenders have brought in risk and financial advisory solutions provider Kroll.
Moreover, the edtech major missed yet another deadline for filing its financial statements for FY22. The company recently announced that its board will convene in the second week of October to approve and adopt the long-awaited financial statements for the year ending 31 March, 2022.
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