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MUMBAI : DTDC Express Ltd, one of India’s largest courier service providers, has begun work on its initial public offering to raise as much as 1,000 crore and plans to go public later this year, three people aware of the development said.

“Since work has just started on the IPO, the company has still not finalized the quantum of equity stake to be diluted or the amount to be raised through it, but the size of the fundraising is likely to be around 500-1,000 crore," said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity. Some existing shareholders may also sell their shares, the person said.

The courier firm plans to use some of the proceeds from the IPO to strengthen its technology platform to compete with younger tech-enabled delivery companies that have helped fuel the rapid growth of e-commerce in India.

Funds raised from the sale of new shares will be used to bolster the company’s technology capabilities and upgrade its logistics infrastructure, the second person said, also requesting anonymity.

DTDC was founded in 1990 by Subhasish Chakraborty in Bengaluru. The firm provides express courier services to local and overseas destinations for both retail and corporate clients. DTDC, through its units, operates in New York, London, Dubai, Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Australia. It also has a presence in Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Turkey through partners.

The company has hired an investment bank and two law firms to prepare for the IPO, the first person said, adding that the company is likely to launch the IPO by the end of this year.

France’s DPD Group holds a 42.5% stake in DTDC, while the founder and other individual shareholders own the rest, as of 31 March 2021, data from the registrar of companies said.

An email to a spokesperson for DTDC Express did not elicit a response till press time.

The company claims to have 570 operating facilities and 48 hubs across the country, a million square feet of warehousing facilities and a fleet of over 1,500 trucks. DTDC handled 143 million shipments in FY20 and 128 million in the previous year.

DTDC’s revenue rose 9% to 1,388.95 crore in 2020 from 1,273.23 crore in the previous year, according to a January 2021 report by rating agency Crisil. Profit, however, doubled to 36 crore in 2020 from 16.28 crore in the previous year.

DTDC is not the only company in the broader logistics sector planning to go public. SoftBank-backed Delhivery Ltd, a logistics and supply chain startup, filed the draft paperwork to raise as much as 7,460 crore via an initial public offering in November. The IPO comprises a fresh issue of 5,000 crore worth of shares and an offer for sale of up to 2,460 crore by its promoters and shareholders.

In February, TVS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd filed draft documents with the market regulator for an initial share sale through which the logistics arm of the diversified TVS group will seek to raise 2,000 crore of fresh capital, while some existing shareholders will also pare their stakes. It offers customized solutions to customers to enable agile and efficient supply chains at a large scale.

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