CAM, S&R, Squire advise on Equitas Bank IPO

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equitas bank IPO

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) advised Equitas Small Finance Bank and its promoter, Equitas Holdings, on its recent ₹5.17 billion (US$70 million) IPO.

While S&R Associates was Indian legal counsel to the three book-running lead managers – JM Financial, Edelweiss Financial Services and IIFL Securities – Squire Patton Boggs provided international legal advice.

The draft red herring prospectus for the IPO was filed on 16 December 2019, and closed on 2 November.

CAM’s transaction team was led by partner Yash Ashar, who heads the firm’s capital markets practice, and comprised partner Reuben Chacko, principal associate Vinay Sirohia, and associates Tanvi Kini and Saurav Das (advisers to the bank); and partner Vijay Parthasarathi, principal associate Janhavi Manohar, and associate Sowmya Khandelwal (advisers to Equitas Holdings).

S&R’s team included partners Sandip Bhagat and Jabarati Chandra, and associates Utkarsh Mishra, Mohnish Mathew and Siddharth Urs. Squire Patton Boggs’ team was led by its Dubai-based partner, Biswajit Chatterjee, who co-chairs the firm’s India practice.

“This was the first IPO by a banking company after the outbreak of covid-19, and during a time when the banking sector was dealing with regulatory and market uncertainty,” Chandra told India Business Law Journal, adding that, “even though it was work from home, everyone worked to ensure the successful completion of the transaction”.

With its headquarters in Chennai, Equitas Small Finance Bank is a small finance bank that began operations in 2016. The IPO comprised a fresh issue of up to 84,848,484 equity shares by Equitas Small Finance Bank, and an offer for sale of 72 million equity shares by its promoter.

While the stated objective of the IPO is to augment its tier 1 capital base, which is a bank’s highest quality capital, it also meets a condition of its licence. Small finance banks have to mandatorily list within three years of reaching a net worth of ₹5 billion (US$67.9 million).