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Happiest Minds on cloud nine as shares soar 124% on trading debut
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Software services provider Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd made an exceptional debut on the stock exchanges on Thursday as its shares more than doubled on listing and then surged even higher.

Shares of Happiest Minds began trading on the BSE at Rs 351 apiece compared with the initial public offering (IPO) price of 166. The stock touched a high of Rs 395 apiece in early trade, clocking a gain of almost 138%.

The stock eventually closed at Rs 371.50 apiece, up 123.80%. The company now commands a market capitalisation of Rs 5,448.64 crore compared with the Rs 2,438 crore valuation it sought in the IPO.

The BSE’s benchmark Sensex closed down 323 points, or 0.82% from the previous close, at 38,979.85. The BSE IT index advanced 45.19 points, or 0.23%, to close at 19,890.65.

The spectacular debut follows an IPO that was covered 151 times with heavy demand from all categories of investors, with the issue receiving full subscription within a few hours of its opening.

Happiest Minds was the second IPO after India went into a lockdown in late March to control the Covid-19 pandemic. Speciality chemicals maker Rossari Biotech Ltd went public in July and its shares listed at a 58% premium to its IPO price.

Happiest Minds is the third company to list on the main board of the stock exchanges this year. SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd, which went public in March, had received a very strong response to its IPO but had a subdued listing.

Another company, Anthony Waste Handling Cell Ltd, the first waste management services company in India to attempt an IPO, withdrew the public issue in mid-March as it failed to secure enough subscription.

Happiest Minds, which was backed by private equity fund JPMorgan CMDB II, saw the PE backer fully exit its five-year investment handsome returns.

The IPO resulted in roughly 28.8% stake dilution on a post-issue basis. Founder and promoter Ashok Soota, who was also the founding chairman and MD of Mindtree Ltd before starting Happiest Minds, also sold some of his shares and diluted his stake to 40.89% from 48.83%.

ICICI Securities and Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt. Ltd were merchant bankers who arranged and managed the share sale.

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