The initial public offering (IPO) of educational books publisher S Chand and Co. Ltd, backed by private equity firm Everstone Capital, crossed the half-way mark on the first day of the issue on Wednesday.

The offering of 7.68 million shares, excluding anchor allotment, received bids for nearly 3.98 million equity shares, or 52% of the total, data available with the stock exchange showed.

While qualified institutional investors’ portion was covered 61%, the quota for non-institutional investors comprising corporate bodies and wealthy individuals was subscribed about 23% by the end of day one.

Retail investors bid for about 60% of the portion reserved for them on day one.

On Tuesday, the book publisher raised nearly Rs219 crore from anchor investors, a day ahead of its IPO. The company has allotted a little over 3.2 million shares at Rs670 apiece to 15 anchor investors, including HSBC Global Investment Funds - Indian Equity, HDFC Trustee Co. Ltd - HDFC Prudence Fund, Nomura Singapore Ltd, BNP Paribas Arbitrage and SBI Life Insurance Co.

Priced between Rs660 and Rs670 apiece, the IPO comprises new shares worth Rs325 crore and an offer for sale of 6.02 million shares by existing shareholders.

At the upper end of the price band, the IPO is expected to raise Rs728.55 crore.

Out of the primary proceeds, the company will spend Rs255 crore to repay debt, said Samir Khurana, group head, strategy and investments at S. Chand.

S. Chand is looking to repay loans availed by it and its subsidiary Eurasia Publishing House Pvt. Ltd, which were utilized towards funding the acquisition of Chhaya Prakashani Pvt. Ltd. The company will repay some loans availed by other subsidiaries such as New Saraswati House (India) Pvt. Ltd and Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.

S. Chand delivers content, solutions and services across the education lifecycle, serving the K-12, higher education and early-learning segments.

In December 2016, S. Chand acquired a 74% stake in Chhaya Prakashani, adding four Chhaya brands to its portfolio.

As of 31 December, the company had offered 55 consumer brands across knowledge products and services including S. Chand, Vikas, Madhubun, Saraswati, Destination Success and Ignitor.

Inorganic growth through acquisitions is a strategy that S. Chand has frequently preferred in the past too. In financial year 2012-13, S Chand acquired Vikas Publishing to bolster its offering in Hindi titles.

In financial year 2014-15, it acquired New Saraswati House.

Investment banks JM Financial Institutional Securities Ltd, Axis Capital Ltd and Credit Suisse Securities (India) Pvt. Ltd are managing the share sale.

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