PE-controlled broadband player ACT hires banks to raise over $300m in IPO

Atria Convergence Technologies Pvt. Ltd (ACT), a broadband services provider controlled by private equity firms TA Associates and True North, has hired investment banks to help it raise Rs1,500-2,000 crore through an initial public offering (IPO), said two people aware of the development.

“The company has recently appointed a syndicate of investment banks and has started work on its plans to go public,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to reporters. “The proposed IPO will be a mix of fresh fundraising and stake sales by both the existing private equity investors TA Associates and True North.”

Mint could not ascertain the names of the investment banks hired by ACT.

Founded in 2000, the broadband service provider has around 1.5 million subscribers across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi. It offers high-speed Internet over fibre optic cables and high-definition television.

TA Associates and True North invested $500 million in the company in 2015 to acquire a majority stake. For True North, it was the second investment in ACT. The transaction saw its fifth fund—Indium V—buy the stake held by one of its previous funds.

As of 31 March 2017, True North and TA owned 93% in ACT, with the two investors holding 56.4% and 37.3% stake respectively, data from the company’s filings with the registrar of companies (RoC) shows.

According to the second person cited above, the IPO is likely to see a total dilution of around 25% stake, and will value the company at a little over $1 billion. He too requested anonymity.

TA Associates and True North declined to comment on the development.

ACT reported a consolidated revenue of Rs873.6 crore in financial year 2015-16, as compared to Rs616.8 crore in the previous year, data from RoC shows. In 2015-16, the company reported a profit of Rs126.8 crore, as against a profit of Rs74.1 crore in the previous year.

ACT’s plans to go public come at a time when the Indian IPO market has seen its best year ever and shows a continued interest of PE funds to exit portfolio companies through initial share sales.

In 2017, 36 companies raised Rs67,147 crore through the IPO route, while 26 companies raised Rs26,493.8 crore in 2016, data from primary market tracker Prime Database shows.

TA and True North themselves have seen several of their other portfolio companies go public in the last few years. In September, Mint reported that TA Associates-backed TCNS Clothing Co. Pvt. Ltd, the owner of women’s apparel brands W, Aurelia and Wishful, had hired investment banks Citibank and Kotak Mahindra Capital to manage its initial share sale.

Earlier in 2015, TA portfolio company Dr Lal Pathlabs went public.

True North-backed hospital chain Aster DM Healthcare is launching its Rs775 crore IPO on 12 February. In 2015, Syngene International Ltd, a contract drug manufacturing and research company backed by True North raised capital through an initial share sale.

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