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Billionaire-Backed FabIndia Seeking $500 Million in IPO

FabIndia is reportedly considering seeking a valuation of about $2 billion.
FabIndia is reportedly considering seeking a valuation of about $2 billion. (FabIndia)

FabIndia, a retailer of clothing and furniture inspired by traditional Indian crafts, plans to file preliminary documents for an initial public offering of as much as $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Delhi-based company, whose backers include PremjiInvest, the family office of Wipro Ltd. founder Azim Premji, aims to submit its so-called draft red herring prospectus as soon as early next year, the people said. Its IPO will largely consist of investors selling existing shares, they said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

FabIndia is considering seeking a valuation of about $2 billion, one of the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing and details of the listing such as size and timing could change, the people said. Representatives for FabIndia and PremjiInvest didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Indian companies are pushing ahead with their IPO plans even after Paytm’s tumultuous listing — which saw the firm behind the country’s biggest IPO plunge more than 35 percent in the first two days of trading — challenged investors’ exuberance. Star Health and Allied Insurance Co.’s IPO last week, the first large offering since Paytm’s debut, was trimmed after failing to get bids for all the shares on sale.

Founded in 1960 by John Bissell to showcase Indian hand-loom textiles to the world, Fabindia sources a large share of its products from villages across India, according to its website. The company connects more than 55,000 rural producers to urban markets, and runs its own school with nearly 500 students, the website shows.

By Pei Li and Baiju Kalesh

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