India Tycoon to Tap Banks for $823 Million DMart Share Sale
A shopper browses different varieties of rice while carrying a shopping bag from D-Mart, a supermarket operated by Avenue Supermarts Ltd. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India Tycoon to Tap Banks for $823 Million DMart Share Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. and Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. are among banks Indian billionaire Radhakishan Damani picked for another planned stake sale in Avenue Supermarts Ltd., owner of the DMart brand, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Damani selected the banks as he prepares to pare his stake in India’s largest listed retail chain by selling about 5.2% next year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Damani, who sold about 1% earlier this year, has to sell more shares before the end of March to meet a minimum requirement for public float, one of the people said.

A 5.2% stake in Avenue Supermarts would be valued at around 58.7 billion rupees ($823 million), based on the closing price in Mumbai on Friday. The founders hold about 80.2% of Avenue Supermarts, including about 37.4% by Damani, according to exchange data. The public shareholding is below the minimum 25% threshold.

The share sale could come at a time when companies in India are battling weaker consumer demand as Asia’s third-largest economy slows. Avenue Supermarts, which operates food and grocery retail stores under the DMart brand, is among the few players that could sail against the wind. Its shares have gained about 12% this year.

A final decision hasn’t yet been taken on the size of the sale and more banks could be added, the people said. Representatives for Bank of America and Avenue Supermarts declined to comment, while Kotak couldn’t immediately comment.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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