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BSE receives Sebi’s nod to launch IPO, likely to raise Rs 1,500 cr

Paving the way for BSE’s IPO launch, capital market regulator Sebi has given its final go-ahead to the draft prospectus for the estimated Rs 1,500-crore public offering by Asia’s oldest exchange.

The much-awaited public offer of BSE will see sale of 29,955,434 shares by the existing shareholders through the offer for sale (OFS) route. This works out to close to 30 per cent of the total holding.

Among the existing shareholders are Bajaj Holdings Investment, Caldwell India Holdings, Acacia Banyan Partners, Singapore Exchange, Mauritius-based arms of American investor George Soros’ Quantum Fund and foreign fund Atticus.

The exchange had filed draft papers with the regulator in September to float an IPO.

It received Sebi’s ‘observation’ on December 30, which is necessary for any company to launch public offer, the latest update available with Sebi showed.

Sources said the shares could be offered at a price of as high as Rs 500 each, giving the IPO a size of up to Rs 1,500 crore.

Even at the lower end of the band, the IPO should be worth about Rs 1,200-1,300 crore, they added. There are an estimated 9,000 shareholders in BSE, where originally mostly brokers held shares.

However, a host of foreign investors and domestic financial institutions have acquired shares over the years and the IPO will provide some of them an exit opportunity to monetise their assets.

BSE shares will be listed on NSE as Sebi rules do not allow self-listing for an exchange. Rival NSE had filed draft papers with Sebi last week.

The exchange may allocate up to 60 per cent of the QIB portion to anchor investors. One-third of the anchor investor category will be reserved for domestic mutual funds.

BSE — earlier known as the Bombay Stock Exchange — got in-principle approval from Sebi last year for the IPO. Shares of nearly 3,000 companies trade on its platform.

The issue is being managed by Edelweiss Financial Services, Axis Capital, Jefferies India, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt, Motilal Oswal Investment Advisors, SBI Capital Markets and SMC Capitals. Nishith Desai Associates is the legal advisor to the IPO while Karvy Computershare is the registrar.

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