Mumbai: Just Dial Ltd, one of India’s major local search engine providers, plans a Nasdaq listing for its US-based associate Just Dial Global.
The company is already in talks with merchant bankers for the US listing after its own initial public offering (IPO) in India, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. One of whom is an investor in the company.
On 18 August, Just Dial Ltd filed for an IPO to raise up to Rs 360 crore with regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. The IPO is being lead managed by Citigroup Capital Markets Ltd and Morgan Stanley India Pvt Ltd.
The company has not appointed merchant bankers for its US listing plans yet, said one of the persons cited above. An e-mail sent to the company spokesperson on Friday went unanswered.
“It is one of the thoughts that the management is looking at and things are at a discussion stage,” said an investor in the company on condition of anonymity. “It is (listing in the US) a logical step for companies like these. The listing will happen after the India listing.”
“The company is looking at a listing on Nasdaq,” an investment banker confirmed. He, too, declined to be named as his firm is negotiating with the company to manage the US IPO.
Internet-based services companies have found favour with investors in the US recently. In 2010, MakeMyTrip.com, an Indian online travel portal, listed successfully on the Nasdaq and has since outperformed the broad equity index.
“There is a huge demand for local search engine companies in the US even though the business is currently loss making. The investors reward such models which are less capital intensive and high on returns,” another investment banker said. He declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media. “With internet penetration in the US being the highest in the world, around 78%, such internet-based service providers can scale up faster.”
PE investors SAIF Partners, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital hold a majority 55% share in Just Dial, which also plans a pre-IPO placement of around Rs 350 crore with PE and institutional investors.
Just Dial Ltd had a total income of Rs 1,89.9 crore in fiscal 2011, up 41% over the previous year. Profit after tax rose 55.3% to Rs 28.62 crore.
Deals India, published jointly by Mint, Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal, is a one-stop destination for investment professionals following deal flow, deals news, private equity and venture capital activity in India.