Yatra Online Limited CEO Dhruv Shringi [Credit: Yatra]

Indian OTA Yatra set for imminent IPO

India: Indian online travel agency Yatra Online Limited is set to launch its initial public offering on 15 September, ahead of what is expected to be a busy period for IPOs in the country.

Yatra has fixed the price band at ₹135-142 [$16-17 million] per equity share for the public offering.

The aggregator has been a publicly-listed company on the Nasdaq since the end of December 2016, when special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] completed a business combination with Yatra.

Yatra filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Indian regulatory body Securities and Exchange Board of India [SEBI] on 25 March last year. At the time, the company was aiming to raise up to $97.5 million but that figure has since dropped as its current IPO now comprises a fresh issue of shares worth ₹602 crore [$73.5 million].

In addition, Yatra undertook a pre-IPO placement of ₹62.01 crore [close to $7.5 million] to its promoter THCL last December.

The company expects to divert a large portion of the proceeds from the fresh issue towards strategic investments, acquisitions and fuelling inorganic growth, while Yatra is also targeting enhancing its customer acquisition and retention, technology advancement, general corporate purposes and other organic growth initiatives, according to CEO Dhruv Shringi. It has previously made two high-profile domestic acquisitions – the corporate travel business of PL Worldways and corporate travel service provider Air Travel Bureau.

After SEBI gave Yatra a 12-month window to complete its IPO last November, Yatra had initially prioritised launching the offering by March of this year but it was postponed due to a longer investor feedback process resulting from a challenging macro economic environment.

Yatra currently offers access to a range of accommodation options through its platform, from holiday homes to homestays and hotels, and also enables travellers to book vacation packages both domestically and internationally, including visa facilitation, tours, sightseeing excursions, shows and events.

Though the company claims to be the largest corporate travel services provider in India based on the number of corporate clients, it has so far been the third largest Indian OTA in terms of gross booking and operating revenue in this financial year. In its red herring prospectus in March, Yatra said that it had more than two million hotel and accommodation tie-ups with key domestic OTA players.

One of Yatra’s closest rivals and listed peers, Easy Trip Planners Limited, listed in March 2021 via a ₹510 crore [around $61.5 million] IPO, however it has since seen its shares decline by 21 per cent over the last year.

Two more Indian OTAs – OYO and Ixigo – are looking to close their own initial public offerings by the end of 2023 – the former after particularly long delays, having first filed to go public in October 2021.

Yatra’s IPO is expected to close on 20 September. Investors will be able to bid for a minimum lot of 105 equity shares and in multiples of 105 from there on.

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