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Jhunjhunwala-backed firms plan share sales

Mehul Shah  |  Mumbai 

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Revival in demand for IPOs has prompted the companies to tap primary market.

With the primary market reviving, a number of unlisted companies backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala are planning initial public offerings (IPOs) in the next few months.

At least three companies in which Jhunjhunwala owns stake – Concord Biotech, Hungama Digital and Topsgrup – are firming up plans for initial share sale offers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ankur Vaid, son of Concord Biotech’s founder Sudhir Vaid, confirmed the Ahmedabad-based company’s plans. “Definitely, an IPO is in the pipeline,” Vaid told Business Standard. He is also a director of Concord Biotech. “However, we have not yet decided the timeframe and the amount to be raised from the issue,” he added.

Vaid said Jhunjhunwala had a “significant stake” in Concord Biotech. He, however, did not specify the exact shareholding pattern of the company. According to media reports, Jhunjhunwala holds 40 per cent while Sudhir Vaid owns 52 per cent.

Mobile content distributor Hungama Digital is also planning an IPO. Jhunjhunwala, the chairman of the Mumbai-based firm, was among the early investors in the company. “We do not have any such plans,” said Neeraj Roy, managing director and CEO, Hungama Digital Media, in a text message . He did not reply to a detailed e-mail query on the subject.

* Concord Biotech
* Hungama Digital
* Topsgrup
* A2Z Maintenance & Engineering

Security services provider Topsgrup, in which Jhunjhunwala owns a 10.8 per cent stake and is a director on the board, is finalising bankers for its IPO. The company is expected to file the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with Sebi in the near future. Top officials of the company could not be reached for comment.

Apart from the three firms, A2Z Maintenance & Engineering, in which Jhunjhunwala holds 21.03 per cent stake, is in the process of getting approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for its initial share sale offer.

According to the company’s DRHP, Jhunjhunwala plans to sell one million shares in A2Z’s IPO, comprising 1.78 per cent of pre-issue equity capital. Manish Gupta is the nominee director of Jhunjhunwala on A2Z’s board.

Jhunjhunwala did not respond to phone calls.

Jhunjhunwala made millions by investing in companies like Titan, Praj Industries and Crisil at an early stage.

The demand from investors for IPOs has been strong of late, prompting many companies to line up their offers. Since January this year, 61 companies have raised about Rs 38,342 through IPOs in India, according to data by the BS Research Bureau.

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First Published: Tue, November 30 2010. 00:07 IST