Thursday, April 05, 2007

Time for ICICI Venture to mull an IPO…?

I keep reading about the phenomenal success of Fortress IPO and related reports and had also chronicled it in one of my earlier blog posts. Going by this Fortune article, it seems the world’s still awestruck and clearly has not had enough. It as well reminds Blackstone is next in line to hit the road.

Excerpts -

“On the night before Fortress Investment Group became the first hedge fund to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Wesley Edens and the other four principals celebrated in a manner that befits the firm's intentionally low-key profile. They gathered at a bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

By the next day's closing bell, though, Edens could afford more than just beer and pretzels: His shares from the IPO were worth approximately $2.3 billion. Six weeks later, on March 22, Blackstone Group followed suit when the private-equity shop revealed plans to raise $4 billion in an upcoming IPO.

Since that news broke, Wall Street has been buzzing about who will be the next firm to announce plans for an IPO and invite the public into a world once reserved for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors.”

I took time off to think what if our local Private Equity firms decided to go public ? Would they fetch similar buoyant response ? The existing listed PE firms like IDFC an Infrastructure focused financial powerhouse ( P/E 18.6, Market Cap $ 2.13 billion) and ILFS Investment Managers a pureplay PE firm (P/E 24, Market Cap $ 76 Million) have been doing well for themselves in comparison with the broader market. But the big fish of them all is ICICI Venture, which is the Private Equity / buyout arm of largest new generation Bank ICICI Bank, with funds under management in excess of $ 2 billion. It would be interesting to watch if ICICI Venture decides to go public and the likely valuation that it might secure – given the dynamism demonstrated by its CEO Mrs.Renuka Ramnath, it is not totally out of whack to speculate.
And if it chooses to hit the road, here’s what Mrs.Ramnath and her team can aspire for - more or less.

Being comfortable in the limelight may be what finally determines who does and doesn't go public. Given that affairs of ICICI Venture are pretty much transparent, and its very much in the limelight already for Mrs.Ramnath’s stellar fundraising capabilities, if at all there’s anything to hold back, it could only be its investors privacy concerns than one of its likely valuation.
I'd like a slice of the action....What do you think ?

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