Mumbai: Devi Seafoods Ltd, one of the largest seafood exporters from India, is in the process of hiring investment banks for a planned initial public offering (IPO), three people aware of the development said.

Founded in 1992 and based in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Devi Seafoods is a supplier of frozen shrimps with its own processing plant, aquaculture farms and shrimp hatchery.

“Devi Seafoods has been in talks with investment banks for the last few weeks for working on its IPO. The company plans to raise up to Rs1,000 crore through the proposed IPO, which they are eyeing in 2018. They will be soon appointing a banker syndicate to start work on the deal," said one of the people cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

According to the second person, the proposed IPO is likely to be a mix of primary and secondary share sale.

“The promoters are likely to look at diluting some stake though the IPO and some primary capital will definitely be raised for investing in the business," this person said, also on condition of anonymity.

Devi Seafoods will end the current financial year with revenue of close to Rs1,000 crore, he added.

Emails sent to Devi Seafoods on Friday did not elicit any response.

According to the company’s filings with the registrar of companies (RoC), Devi Seafoods reported revenue of Rs789.02 crore in the financial year 2015-16, compared to a revenue of Rs817.35 crore in the previous year. The company reported growth of 20% and 16% respectively, in production and export sales quantity during the year 2015-16, compared to the previous year.

With a total of 3,500 employees across its verticals, the company has three processing units and sells products under brands such as Volga Classic, Sindhu Classic and Mornings Harvest.

Almost 90% of the company’s exports are to the US market, while 6-7% go to Canada.

Devi Seafoods’ planned public listing comes at a time when Indian seafood exports are performing strongly. India exported 1.14 million tonnes of seafood worth $5.78 billion (around Rs37,871 crore) in 2016-17, compared with 0.95 million tonnes worth $4.69 billion a year earlier, according to the Marine Products Export Development Authority, a part of the ministry of commerce.

Frozen shrimp maintained its dominant position, accounting for 38.3% in quantity and 64.5% of the earnings in dollar terms.

The Indian IPO market too has witnessed a strong run this year.

In 2017, 33 companies raised Rs65,923 crore through IPOs, a record for the Indian primary market, according to data from primary market tracker Prime Database. In 2016, 26 companies had raised Rs26,493.8 crore from the IPO market.

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