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Thursday, May 06, 2004

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IL&FS files red herring for IPO

Our Bureau

Mumbai , May 5

IL&FS Investsmart Ltd is all set to join the likes of DSP Merrill Lynch and Geojit Securities as a "listed" investment advisory and broking company.

The company has filed its draft red herring prospectus for an initial public offer of one crore equity shares. Of this, 35 lakh shares will be a fresh issue and the balance will be an offer for sale.

The initial public offer (IPO) would follow the book-building route and the shares on offer have a face value of Rs 10 each. The issue would represent 25.97 per cent of the fully diluted post-issue paid-up capital of the company.

The price band and the exact dates of the IPO would be finalised in 3-4 weeks' time.

"The Securities and Exchange Board of India usually takes about 21 days to approve the prospectus. By that time, the markets would have stabilised considerably, after the election jitters," said Mr Girish Nadkarni, Chief Operating Officer - International Business & Placements, IL&FS Investsmart.

The funds raised from the IPO would be primarily used to expand the branch network of the company in India as well as internationally. "At the first phase, we are looking at opening branches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, London and New York," said Mr Nadkarni.

The other listed companies in this space have demonstrated considerable growth in the share value in the last year. DSP Merrill Lynch is currently being traded at Rs 475, a growth of over 90 per cent since January 2003. Similarly, Geojit Securities at the current level of Rs 79.80 was floundering at levels of Rs 18.55 in January 2003.

"The retail sector has been the major driver of our business during the last couple of years. We feel the need to further expand our network and operations across the country," said Mr Hemang Rajah, MD & CEO, IL&FS Investsmart.

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