Softbank-backed Oyo confidentially ‘pre-files’ for Indian IPO – source

By Manas Mishra

(Reuters) -Softbank-backed Indian hotel aggregator Oyo has submitted a confidential “pre-filing” document for a likely slimmed-down initial public offering, a source told Reuters on Friday.

The company initially filed to go public in 2021, aiming for an IPO size of 84.3 billion Indian rupees ($1.02 billion), but delayed the share sale at that time.

Oyo is now aiming for an IPO size of $400 million to $600 million, according to the source, who added that the confidential filing option gives the company flexibility to change the size of the issue till an updated filing is made with the market regulator.

A spokesperson for the company, officially known as Oravel Stays, declined to comment.

Oyo, launched in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal, recently laid off employees at a time when valuations of high-flying tech startups have crashed.

Meanwhile, a handful of Indian firms have delayed or scrapped their IPO plans due to weak market conditions.

Skincare startup Mamaearth put its IPO on hold, Reuters reported on Monday, a month after similar decisions by apparel retailer Fabindia and jewellery retailer Joyalukkas.

The confidential pre-filing option was introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last year in an effort aimed at safeguarding sensitive business information of companies.

In India, companies typically first file a draft prospectus with SEBI that contains regulatory disclosures, which is also released publicly for comments for at least 21 days.

Later, after incorporating any regulatory and other feedback, a final prospectus is filed for approval again.

($1 = 82.1800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Shounak Dasgupta)