Ahead of IPO, Nazara Technologies raisesRs 261 Cr from anchor investors

Gaming firm Nazara Technologies on Tuesday said it has raised a little over Rs 261 crore from anchor investors prior to its initial public offer, which opens for subscription on Wednesday.

The company’s initial public offer (IPO) committee has decided to allot 23,73,395 shares to 43 anchor investors at Rs 1,101 each. At this price, the firm has raised Rs 261.31 crore, Nazara Technologies informed BSE.

The anchor investors include the Government of Singapore, Nomura Funds Ireland Public Limited Company, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Goldman Sachs India Ltd, and Steadview Capital Mauritius Ltd.

In addition, HDFC MF, SBI Mutual Fund (MF), Axis MF, Sundaram MF, ICICI Prudential MF, Kotal MF, and Aditya Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund also participated in the anchor book bidding.

Nazara Technologies, backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, is popular for its games on World Cricket Championship, Chhota Bheem, and Motu Patlu series. The company’s public issue will witness the sale of 52,94,392 equity shares by the promoters and existing shareholders. Those selling shares in the IPO include IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, Good Game Investment Trust, Mitter Infotech LLP, a promoter of the company, IndexArb Securities and Azimuth Investments.

The offer includes a reservation totaling up to Rs 2 crore for purchase by the company’s employees. The IPO, with a price band of Rs 1,100-1,101 a share, will open on March 17, and conclude on March 19. At the upper end of the price band, the IPO is expected to fetch Rs 583 crore.

Explaining the rationale behind the IPO, the firm said that the listing of equity shares will improve its brand name and provide liquidity to the existing shareholders. The listing will also provide a public market for equity shares in India. The equity shares are proposed to be listed on BSE and NSE. To manage the company’s initial public offer, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited, Jefferies India Private Limited, ICICI Securities, and IIFL Securities have been appointed as the merchant bankers.

In January, WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings, a fund managed by WestBridge Capital, exited from Nazara by selling shares worth over Rs 500 crore to Plutus Wealth Management LLP and its associates.

Besides the latest transaction, WestBridge had sold shares to IIFL Special Opportunities Fund and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who had invested Rs 327 crore and Rs 182 crore, respectively, in Nazara during 2017.

The firm has undertaken investments and acquisitions in various gaming categories, including infotainment, edutainment, fantasy sports, e-sports, multiplayer games like carrom, and mobile cricket games, among others to strengthen its position in the gaming and sports media space. Nazara owns IPs, including Kiddopia in gamified early learning, NODWIN and Sportskeeda in esports and esports media, WCC and CarromClash in mobile games, and Halaplay and Qunami in skill-based, fantasy and trivia games.

The company had previously filed preliminary papers with Sebi in February 2018, and had received a green flag from the market regulator to float the IPO; the firm, however, did not launch its public issue.