PE-backed Seaways Shipping, Varun Beverages, ICICI Prudential get nod for IPO

Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its green signal to three companies for floating their initial public offering (IPO), adding to the list of over a dozen odd firms in the queue with an approval to go public.

Majority of these firms, including Seaways Shipping, Varun Beverages and ICICI Prudential that received the nod last week, count private equity investors as shareholders.

Around two dozen PE firms have used the rally in the stock market to book profits from their portfolio firms with part or full exit as part of an offer for sale in the public issues.

Here’s a quick look at the three new firms to get the approval.


Logistics service and solutions provider Seaways Shipping & Logistics Ltd plans to raise Rs 80 crore (about $12 million) through a fresh issue of sale, besides an offer-for sale of up to 6.44 million shares by existing shareholders including IDFC Alternatives (IDFC PE). ICICI Securities, IDFC Bank and Karvy Investment Banking are the bankers for the proposed issue.

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Varun Beverages

Ravi Jaipuria-controlled Varun Beverages Ltd that counts AION Global and Standard Chartered Private Equity as investors is one of the largest franchisees in the world (outside the US) of carbonated as well as non-carbonated beverages sold under brands owned by PepsiCo. It produces and distributes products such as Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Seven-Up, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Lemon, Mountain Dew, Tropicana Slice, Nimbooz as well as packaged drinking water under the brand Aquafina. It is looking to raise Rs 540 crore to retire its existing debt. Promoters of the firm that is eyeing a market valuation of as much as $1.2 billion, will also sell some shares in the IPO. Kotak Mahindra Capital, Axis Capital, CLSA and YES Securities are the bankers.

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ICICI Prudential Life

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd is looking to float the first IPO by an insurance company in India. While HDFC Standard Life and Max Life Insurance Company Ltd have decided to merge to create the biggest private-sector life insurer in India and possibly the first listed insurer, ICICI Prudential will be the first to test the primary market appetite in the sector. ICICI Bank, India's biggest private-sector bank, owns a 68% stake in the insurer while the UK-based Prudential Plc holds almost 26%. The insurer is also backed by Singapore state investment arm Temasek, which acquired a 2% stake late last year in a deal that valued the company at Rs 32,500 crore. This transaction also included PremjiInvest, the private investment arm of Wipro chief Azim Premji, buying a 4% stake in ICICI Prudential.

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