Ashok Soota-led Happiest Minds IPO secures bumper subscription in undemanding economy

Ashok Soota-led Happiest Minds IPO secures bumper subscription in undemanding economy
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7 Sep, 2020

The initial public offering (IPO) of information technology (IT) services firm Happiest Minds Technologies, set to raise about Rs 700 crore, was subscribed 2.9 times (or 187%) on day one, according to stock exchange data.

The public issue received 6,67,09,800 bids against an IPO size of over 2,32,59,550 shares, as per NSE data as of 5 PM market close on Monday.

While the portion for retail investors was oversubscribed six times (or 587%), those of non institutional investors and qualified institutional buyers were undersubscribed by 82% and 92%, respectively.

The massive response comes amid slowing growth in India’s IT services sector. Some companies in the sector deferred to offer a business outlook, citing Covid-19 induced uncertainty, for the upcoming financial year. In August, the country’s official estimates indicated the worst-ever first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) contraction of 23.9%.

The 2011-founded IT firm received the SEBI nod for a public listing last month. The Ashok Soota-led firm was scheduled to open its IPO for retail investors from September 7 to 9. 

According to its red herring prospectus, the Bengaluru-based company will not receive any proceeds from the offer for sale. The company reported total revenue of Rs 714 crore in sales for the financial year ended March 31, 2020, up 18.6% from a year earlier. Its profit grew five times to Rs 71 crore for the same period.

On Friday, it raised Rs 315.9 crore  from a consortium of 25 anchor investors that included the government of Singapore, Goldman Sachs India Fund, Kuwait Investment Auth Fund, Nomura Funds Ireland and SBI Life Insurance.

The anchors scooped up a total of 1,90,30,541 shares at Rs 166 per share, which included a premium of Rs 164 per share, the company said in a BSE filing.

Happiest Minds works with enterprise customers to enable digital transformation services using data analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, internet of things, cloud, security, blockchain and automation.

It primarily serves US customers in sectors such as retail, edtech, industrial, financial services, hi-tech, engineering research and development, manufacturing, travel, media and entertainment.

For the period between financial years 2017-18 and 2019-20, Happiest Minds generated most of its sales from the US market. The country made up 73.5% of its revenue in FY18, 75.5% in FY19 and 77.5% in FY20. The figures are higher than those of mainstream IT firms in the US market, which range between 45% and 60%.

The NIFTY IT index, which tracks all IT firm stocks listed on the NSE, on Monday closed at 18,176.8 levels, a marginal high of 0.57%.

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