PharmEasy hires JM Financial, Kotak Investment Banking for India IPO

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Online pharmacy major PharmEasy has appointed two investment banks, JM Financial and Kotak Investment Banking for its initial public offering (IPO) process, a report said.

Online pharmacy major PharmEasy has appointed two investment banks, JM Financial and Kotak Investment Banking for its initial public offering (IPO) process, a report said.

The company is also likely to hire a foreign banker soon, newspaper Mint reported quoting people familiar with the development

The online pharmacy major is exploring the options for an indirect listing in the United States through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), commonly followed by many companies in India and abroad, the Mint report added.

PharmEasy is also looking for a much higher valuation for the US public markets, it said.

API Holdings, the parent company of Pharmeasy, is exploring options for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise an estimated Rs 3,000-Rs 3,700 crore, the Economic Times reported this week. The IPO is likely to value the company at around Rs 21,800 crore ($3 billion), the newspaper report said.

Last month, the company also became India's first unicorn in the online pharmacy segment after API Holdings raised around $350 million in its Series E round, led by Prosus Ventures and the US-based private equity firm TPG Growth.

Currently, 80 percent stakes of the API Holdings are held by Investment firms such as TPG Growth, Prosus Ventures, Temasek, CDPQ, LGT Lightrock, Eight Roads, and Think Investments.

Pharmeasy has also acquired its smaller rival Medlife. Medlife's shareholders will receive a 19.59 percent stake worth about $240 million in API Holdings, Economic Times had reported earlier.

The company, founded by Dhaval Shah and Dharmil Sheth, intends to expand from 80,000 outlets to 120,000 outlets across 100 cities by the end of 2021. Also, the business-to-business pharma operations recorded gross merchandise values (GMV) of around Rs 600 crore per month and front-end online pharmacy Rs 240 crore to retailers on its platform.

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