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Hedge fund-backed Antony Waste Handling’s IPO gets off to slow start
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The initial share sale of Antony Waste Handling Cell Ltd, the first waste management services company in India looking to go public, began on a slow note on Wednesday as institutional investors stayed on the sidelines.

The public offering of 4.82 million shares, excluding the anchor allotment, was covered nearly 9% after receiving bids for 429,600 shares at the end of the first day, stock-exchange data showed.

Qualified institutional buyers didn’t bid for a single share. The portion of shares reserved for retail investors was covered 12.43% while non-institutional investors bid for 12.85% of the shares set aside for them.

The timing of Antony Waste’s IPO overlaps with that of the Rs 10,354 crore share sale of SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd and comes at a time when Indian and global stock markets have been rattled by
concerns over a slowdown in economic growth on the back of the coronavirus outbreak.

Antony Waste, which counts US billionaire Paul Singer’s hedge fund Elliott Management Corp as its backer, raised Rs 60.94 crore ($8.32 million) from anchor investors on Tuesday by allotting shares at the lower end of the Rs 295-300 price band.

Antony Waste is seeking a valuation of Rs 802.66 crore ($111 million) via the IPO that closes on Friday.

The company has trimmed its offering size compared with its earlier proposal when it filed its draft prospectus. The IPO now comprises a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 35 crore against an earlier plan to raise Rs 43.5 crore. In addition, its existing Mauritius-based shareholders will now sell 5.7 million shares against 9.44 million shares proposed earlier.

At the upper end of the price band, the IPO size is pegged at Rs 206 crore against the earlier estimates of Rs 300 crore.

Leeds (Mauritius) Ltd, Tonbridge (Mauritius) Ltd, Cambridge (Mauritius) Ltd and Guildford (Mauritius) Ltd are selling shares in the IPO. These firms are backed by New York-based Elliott Management, which manages about $40 billion in assets.

Elliott is the world’s largest activist fund in terms of assets under management. Activist hedge funds are typically geared towards unlocking shareholder value.

According to Elliott’s website, the firm employs a multi-strategy trading approach and focuses on investing in distressed securities, equity-oriented deals, hedge/arbitrage, and commodities trading. It also looks at debt, private equity, private credit and real estate-related securities.

Equirus Capital is the sole merchant banker mandated to manage and arrange the share sale.

Incorporated in January 2001, Antony Waste offers solid waste collection, transportation, and processing and disposal services. Since its inception, the company has undertaken more than 25 projects, of which 14 are ongoing.

Municipal corporations in cities and districts such as Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, North Delhi, Greater Noida and Mangalore are some of the company’s key public clients.

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