High-level talks helped to secure shipyard IPO


Multiple rounds of top-level discussions were needed to secure an agreement on terms for Cochin Shipyard’s initial public offering (IPO), according to a lawyer at the law firm acting as international counsel to the shipyard and the government.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) interacted with V Kala, general manager (internal audit) and compliance officer of Cochin Shipyard as the main point of contact for the ₹14.42 billion (US$226 million) IPO, which was subscribed 76.1 times.

Rohit Anand, HSF’s lead associate for the deal, said the team had “several rounds of detailed discussions” with the company’s senior management in the course of drafting the offer document.

The issue included an offer for sale by the government of India, which offloaded a 10% stake in the state-owned shipbuilder, and a fresh issue of shares by the company.

Khaitan & Co advised Cochin Shipyard and the government. The team was led by executive director Sudhir Bassi and associate partner Madhur Kohli.

HSF’s Singapore-based partner, Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan, led the firm’s team, which included associate Anand, senior associate Jin Kong and trainee Ivina Suwana.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas advised the three underwriters on the IPO. Bangalore-based capital markets partners Arjun Lall and Reuben Chacko led the firm’s team. Commenting on the deal, Lall told India Business Law Journal that Cochin Shipyard, which caters to both the Indian Navy and commercial clients, “is the largest public sector shipyard in India in terms of dock capacity” and is also currently building India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy.

The funds from the issue will be used for setting up a new dry dock, an international ship repair facility, and for general corporate purposes.