Cox & Kings prepares again for IPO issue

>> Saturday, August 22, 2009

With the primary market showing signs of revival, one of India’s oldest tour operators, Cox & Kings, has initiated the process for an initial public offering (IPO) and has filed the preliminary draft prospectus with market regulator Sebi. The travel company had earlier planned to go for an IPO last year but was forced to shelve its plans because of adverse market conditions.

The scenario has now improved with Indian companies having raised over Rs 9,000 crore so far this year. Cox & Kings expects to raise $100 million through the IPO.

If the IPO materialises, Cox & Kings will be the third well-known listed company in the travel space. Interestingly, unlike travel industry’s sibling—hotels—not too many travel services are listed.

The other publicly quoted travel firms include Thomas Cook and International Travel House. While Thomas Cook trades at Rs 53, International Travel House, owned by ITC, on Friday closed at Rs 97.65 on BSE.

Cox & Kings median sale of 18.49 million shares would comprise a fresh issue of 15.45 million shares and sale of 3.04 million shares by its current financial investors, Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Securities and Merrill Lynch. The company has also reserved two lakh equity shares for its employees.

The issue would constitute 29.4% of the fully diluted post-issue paid-up capital of the company, Cox & Kings said in a media statement. It added that it was considering a pre-IPO placement. India Infoline is the sole book running lead manager to the issue.
Source : Economic Times

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