To raise funds for its expansion plans, helicopter operator Pawan Hans expects to come out with initial share sale next fiscal, according to a top company official.
As part of its long-term strategy, Pawan Hans plans to expand into various areas including tourism, medical emergencies and disaster management.
"We are considering IPO as the way forward for the company's growth... We have appointed SBICap as our advisor consultant. They have done a study and it is positive," Pawan Hans CMD B P Sharma told PTI.
Noting that some legal requirements and certain technical issues need to be addressed, he said by next financial year, the process for IPO will be taken forward.
When asked how much money the company expects to raise from the share sale, Sharma said as per the study done, "whatever equity we have as on today a similar type of amount we plan to pick up through the IPO".
To tap the huge growth potential in the helicopters market, Sharma said the company would be increasing its fleet size which stands now at 43. "We plan to add another 100 (helicopters) in the next 5-10 years," he added.
Pawan Hans also operates six Dhruv choppers of BSF and HAL.
The company is diversifying into high potential sectors of "heliports/helipads, seaplane operation, small fixed wing aircraft and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations).
The heliport at Rohini in the national capital is expected to be ready by the middle of this year. Two more are being planned at Juhu in Mumbai and Guwahati.
"MRO is a great business... We look forward for business from SAARC countries in helicopter MRO," Sharma said.
Last month, Pawan Hans -- jointly owned by the government and ONGC -- said it plans to procure 20 new helicopters in various categories like light, medium and heavy and two seaplanes under options of leasing and procurement routes.
Last fiscal, the company's operating revenue rose to Rs 538.15 crore while net profit climbed to Rs 79.13 crore during the same period.