Indian online travel agency Yatra seeks to raise up to $100m through IPO

Skift grip

Long-struggling Yatra chose the day before India reopened its borders to launch its public registration plan. He now has a year to convince investors that online travel is the future in India.

Matthew Parson

One of India’s largest travel companies wants to raise up to $100 million through a public listing on India Stock Exchange.

Despite the loss of money over the past two years, yatra made it through the pandemic, even surviving a battle with an activist shareholder. The recruitment of Saber’s chief commercial officer, Roshan Mendis, to its board appears to have marked a new chapter in the company’s fight for survival – which also included a failed merger with Ebix in 2020.

On Friday, Yatra said he had filed a “subversion prospectus” and had started talking with potential investors. He expects the process to be completed in the third quarter.

The initial public offering could raise $100 million, while there is a secondary offering of nearly 9 million shares by THCL Travel Holding Cyprus Limited, a subsidiary of Yatra Online. This represents approximately 8% of the outstanding shares.

Yatra said the additional resources from the IPO will accelerate growth and seize significant opportunities. More importantly, it gives the company access to Indian investors who are currently barred from investing in Yatra Online’s listing in the United States, due to regulatory constraints. Yatra is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, where its shares fell earlier this year following the spread of Omicron.

However, with the reopening of regular flights on March 27, its shares are starting to recover. “Since India opened up to international travel, we have seen a significant increase in travel on the leisure and business side,” CEO Dhruv Shringi said on an investor call on Friday.

Shringi added that there are growing opportunities to acquire other business travel agencies in India. Yatra also aims to invest more in technology and corporate infrastructure for its cargo delivery business.

In the meantime, he has just appointed three new independent non-executive directors, according to reportsincluding a former government minister and former vice president of global sales for Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

Willie R. Golden