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Indian baby and childcare giant FirstCry, owned by Brainbees Solutions, has finally filed for its much-anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO).
This move sees the online retailer take to the public markets to raise Rs 1,816 crore ($218 million) in fresh capital.
Existing investors, including Mahindra & Mahindra and TPG, are also shedding some shares, offering up to 54.4 million for sale.
FirstCry, boasting a $3 billion valuation as of April, has seen its biggest shareholder, SoftBank, offload some stake before the IPO.
The Japanese conglomerate, which initially invested $400 million for a $900 million valuation, sold Rs 630 crore ($310 million) worth of shares earlier this month.
The extent of their further divestment remains unclear.
While profits may be elusive with losses increasing six-fold last year, FirstCry plans to use the IPO funds wisely.
Expanding its brick-and-mortar presence in India and Saudi Arabia, as well as clearing leases for existing stores in India, top the agenda.
They currently hold a strong foothold in India with 936 stores, while their Saudi Arabian footprint remains undisclosed.
FirstCry’s IPO is part of a wider trend fuelled by India’s booming stock market.
Companies are capitalizing on this investor enthusiasm, leading to a burst of IPOs in late 2023 despite a relatively quiet year overall.
Experts predict this trend to continue into 2024, potentially making FirstCry just the beginning of a flurry of listings.
With Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities, and Kotak Mahindra Capital as investment bankers guiding the way, FirstCry’s IPO is poised to be a significant event in the Indian market.
While questions about profitability linger, the company’s ambitious expansion plans and the current market optimism suggest an interesting journey ahead.
This rewrite condenses the key points of the original article, uses more engaging language, and adds context to the IPO within the broader market trends. I hope this is helpful!