Laurus Labs IPO covered 4.55 times on final day
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Laurus Labs Ltd’s initial public offering (IPO) sailed through on Thursday as wealthy individuals and retail investors joined foreign institutions in subscribing to the share sale on the final day.

The drugmaker has become the second company after Sleepwell brand mattress maker Sheela Foam Ltd to successfully conclude its IPO after the government’s 8 November decision to scrap high-value banknotes led to a cash crunch in the economy and forced GreenSignal Bio Pharma Ltd to withdraw its public issue

The Hyderabad-based company’s issue was subscribed 4.55 times at close, stock-exchange data showed. 

The quota for institutional investors was subscribed 10.53 times. The non-institutional portion comprising corporate bodies and wealthy individuals received bids nearly 3.6 times the shares reserved for them. The retail investors’ category was covered about 1.6 times, the data showed.

The issue was 61% covered at the end of day two, after closing with 29% bids on day one largely backed by foreign institutions.

In the grey market, the premium on Laurus Labs’ shares rose to Rs 25 to its price band of Rs 426-428, said two dealers on the condition of anonymity.  The company’s shares quoted a premium of Rs 18-20 on Wednesday, the dealers said.

The grey market is an over-the-counter market where IPO shares are traded before officially listing on a stock exchange.

Analysts said Laurus Labs’ IPO was priced expensive given the market scenario, notwithstanding its strong fundamentals and industry position. Because of the pricing, investors could choose from listed peers such as Shilpa Medicare, Divi’s Laboratories and Dishman Pharma, which trade in the range of 20-25 times their fiscal 2015-16 price-to-earnings multiple compared with 34.1 times for Laurus Labs, they said.

Centrum Wealth Management research analysts Siddhartha Khemka and Abdulkader Puranwala said in a note to clients on 5 December that the IPO seemed to be expensive but such valuation might be sustained owing to continuation in growth momentum, reduction in debt and successful integration into the formulation segment.

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