Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, is one step closer to its much awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO), filing draft papers with market regulator Sebi for the public issue of shares worth up to Rs 1,500 crore.
Among existing shareholders of the BSE, Singapore Exchange, the Mauritius-based wings of American investor George Soros’ Quantum Fund and foreign fund Atticus, will sell their entire shareholdings in the offer for sale of up to 29,955,434 shares of BSE Ltd, which is to be listed on rival exchange NSE.
These shares amount to almost 30 per cent of the total holding. Besides, Bajaj Holdings and Investment, Caldwell India Holdings and Acacia Banyan Partners will offload part of their holdings in the IPO, as per the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) filed with the regulator.
Sources said the IPO may give a market value of over Rs 5,000 crore to BSE, which is the world’s largest exchange in terms of number of listed companies.
As many as 262 shareholders, mostly with small stakes including a few individuals with holdings as low as 150 shares, have offered to participate in the sale, including JM Financial, GKFF Ventures, Nadathur Estates, Isheta Realty, Keynote Capitals, Sharekhan, Citigroup Global and Centrum Broking.
According to data available, BSE has around 9,000 shareholders. Originally, it was mostly brokers who held shares, but over the course of time, many foreign investors and domestic financial institutions have also acquired shares.
Observers say that he IPO will provide some of them an opportunity to exit and monetise assets that have been locked into the BSE for a while. Reports also suggest that the shares might be offered for a price as high as Rs 500 each, bringing the size of the IPO a size up to Rs 1,500 crore. Even if that estimate turns out a bit high, the IPO is still likely to be worth about Rs 1,200 crore.