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GoFirst puts off IPO plan amidst Omicron scare

Forum Gandhi | | Updated on: Dec 27, 2021

Airline likely to go public in October or November

Will revisit plan in January, say company sources

Amid concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, GoFirst has put off its plan for an initial public offer. The Wadia Group-owned airline will “revisit” the plan in late January, according to company sources. They said GoFirst will wait for an optimum time when there are positive sentiments from investors.

It was earlier reported that GoFirst was likely to go for IPO in December. However, according to top sources, the company has decided to hold on to it for some time.

“Yes, the IPO was supposed to be issued in December, however, there is a scare of the Omicron virus, hence investment bankers have suggested waiting it out to see the impact of the virus on the economy. For now, GoFirst will wait it out, revisit the plan later in January to decide date of the issue.”

In response to BusinessLine ’s query, a company spokesperson said, “We are guided by Book Running Lead Manager and will act accordingly as advised by them.”

The number of Omicron cases in India has risen to 578.

Small retail segment

The person explained that retail investors for the issue are only at about 25 per cent, the rest of the IPO is completely based on Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) and foreign institutional investors (FIIs). “Airline listings are usually more special and sought for. However, if not done at the right time, it may take a huge hit.”

According to the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), it plans to raise ₹3,600 crore through the IPO primarily to pay off its debt.

Ahead of filing the DRHP, the company, formerly known as GoAir, had rebranded itself as GoFirst after a spat with former MD Jeh Wadia. It had even positioned itself to become an ‘ultra low-cost carrier’ where it unbundled its services and cut down on costs in a bid to make it a valuable offering to investors.

Published on December 27, 2021
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