India hires Goldman Sachs & JPMorgan for work on nation’s biggest IPO – reports

India’s largest insurance company Life Insurance Corp (LIC) is preparing for an IPO next year with a listing value of over $250 billion. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and ICICI Securities have been chosen to work on the sale.

Among other banks picked to work on what is set to be India’s largest initial public offering are Kotak Mahindra Capital, JM Financial, Citigroup and Nomura Holdings. They were selected after 16 investment firms applied to the country’s government, which holds a stock of LIC shares, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The information, however, hasn’t been made public yet and no official confirmation from the banks has been provided.

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According to analysts at Jefferies India, based on LIC’s assets, the company’s IPO could amount to $261 billion, which would top India’s current largest listed company, Reliance Industries Ltd, with a $183 billion market value.
Experts predict strong demand for the new IPO.

The timeline looks tight given that almost half the year is gone… [still,] with the world awash with liquidity and only a few listed insurance companies in India, unlike banks where there are plenty of choices, we should see good demand for the IPO,” Karthik Srinivasan, senior vice-president at ratings assessor ICRA Ltd, told Bloomberg.

The banks are set to begin the listing preparations in September, expecting to launch the IPO between January and March next year. India’s government is expected to sell as much as 10% of its LIC shares amid a broader divestment target. It may allow foreign direct investment in the firm to draw in investors.

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Meanwhile, major Indian tech company MapmyIndia is also looking to launch an IPO in the coming months. The mapping company, which provides data to Apple Maps and Amazon’s Alexa, will reportedly file its listing application this week, aiming for an IPO valuation of about $825 million. At the height of the pandemic last year, MapmyIndia came up with a Covid-19 panel, which showed real-time maps of containment zones, testing centers and hospitals across the country.

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