By M. Sriram
MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s Ola Electric plans to file regulatory papers for its up to $700 million IPO before the end of October as the e-scooter maker fast-tracks its listing move, three people with direct knowledge said.
Backed by investors including Singapore’s Temasek and Japan’s SoftBank, Ola Electric was valued at $5.4 billion in a recent fund raising.
In an email to its bankers and lawyers on Sunday, an Ola Electric executive asked external advisers on the IPO – including the investment banking units of India’s Kotak and ICICI, as well as foreign banks including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs – to give “utmost priority” to meet a five-week deadline, said the sources.
Ola Electric and Kotak did not respond to a request for comment while the other three banks declined to comment. The sources did not wish to be identified as the communication is internal.
Ola’s IPO project is internally codenamed “Project Himalaya”, and the memo came with a request to bankers and lawyers: do not plan any “long leaves to ensure availability”, said the sources.
IPO-bound Indian companies typically do not instruct senior bankers and lawyers to not take leaves, they said.
Once the IPO papers are filed, they will be reviewed by India’s markets regulator who can also send queries, indicating any possible listing is still some months away.
Ola Electric is targeting IPO roadshows for early January or February, said one of the sources.
The company, India’s market leader in e-scooters with a 30% share, was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and has seen its popularity surge as the country promotes use of electric cars and scooters.
He has said his affordable e-scooters, which start retailing at $1,080, are for the masses, and in an interview this year said “Tesla is for the West, Ola is for the rest.”
Ola Electric, though, still makes losses. It recorded an operating loss of $136 million on revenue of $335 million in the fiscal year ending March 2023, Reuters has reported.
(Reporting by M. Sriram; Additional reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Muralikumar Anantharaman)