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Indian shadow lender Home First Finance files for $209 mln IPO

Housing lender Home First Finance Co India Ltd filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to 15 billion rupees ($209.00 million), according to a draft prospectus from one of its bookrunners dated Nov. 28.

BENGALURU, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Housing lender Home First Finance Co India Ltd filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to 15 billion rupees ($209.00 million), according to a draft prospectus from one of its bookrunners dated Nov. 28.

The offering comes at a time when the shadow banking industry is battling a credit crunch, triggered by the collapse of lending major Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in late-2018 amid fraud allegations.

The IPO, which comprises a fresh issue of shares to raise 4 billion rupees, also includes an offer for sale by existing investors of up to 11 billion rupees.

Mumbai-headquartered Home First, founded in 2010, received Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, whose global portfolio includes names such as Yelp Inc YELP.N, Pinterest PINS.N and Shopify SHOP.TO.

The shadow lender became profitable in 2014 and now has about 60 branches, according to its website. Its assets under management crossed 24 billion rupees in March this year.

In the six months ended Sept. 30, the company made a profit after tax of 367.4 million rupees, compared with 114.6 million rupees last year, its IPO paperwork showed.

Axis Capital Ltd, Credit Suisse Securities (India) Pvt Ltd, ICICI Securities Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Capital Co Ltd are book-running lead managers for the IPO.

($1 = 71.7700 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((derek.francis@thomsonreuters.com; +91-9986311363; Tweet to @derekfrancis089 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-francis/;))

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