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Luthra overtakes Khaitan IPO tally at year-end '09

Bombay Stock Exchange
Bombay Stock Exchange

In December 2009 Luthra & Luthra slipped past Khaitan & Co into second place in the initial public offering (IPO) league tables after acting on three IPOs with Khaitan bagging two instructions. Crawford Bayley took three deals and drew level with AZB & Partners as the fourth busiest Indian IPO firm, while Amarchand Mangaldas built up its lead with five mandates.

Amarchand Mangaldas expanded its comfortable lead after working on five mandates in December, bringing its total tally up to 28 IPOs this financial year from 1 April until 31 December 2009. Amarchand's total instructions figure is equivalent to the total instructions of the next three firms combined.

Amarchand's Delhi office acted on the Rs 7,200 crores mega-IPO of Jindal Power, on which Khaitan & Co and Latham & Watkins led for the banks.

The firm's Delhi office also bagged the Bollywood production company Eros International's IPO for Rs 280 crores, on which S&R Associates and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London took roles for the banks.

Amarchand's Mumbai office acted as the sole corporate counsel for port management company Gujarat Pipavav's Rs 500 crore IPO stake/size, and as domestic banker's counsel in the revival of Rural Electrification Corporation's IPO. Amarchand Bangalore led on the IPO of Pune software company Persistent Systems, with Kanga & Co Mumbai and Dorsey & Whitney advising the banks.

Luthra & Luthra Delhi advised the domestic book running lead managers in the public offerings of Jaypee Infratech and BPTP. The firm also acted for state-owned Rural Electrification Corporation, with Ashurst London advising the merchant bankers and entering the IPO league table with its second IPO this financial year.

Luthra & Luthra capital markets partner Madhurima Mukherjee said: "We had our hands full, there are a lot of capital market transactions in the pipeline."

Mukherjee was assisted by senior associate Jitesh Shahni and associates Kaushik Laik and Raghvendra Singh on the Rural Electrification IPO and her team for Jaypee Infratech included senior associate Geeta Dhania and associates Kaushik Laik and Komal Mehta.

Luthra & Luthra's Mumbai office also advised Neptune Developers on its Rs 495 crores IPO as bankers' counsel, with Clifford Chance Singapore as international adviser and Nishith Desai Associates Mumbai leading for the company in its first IPO of this financial year.

Luthra & Luthra recently made up Mumbai-based capital markets group head Manan Lahoty to partnership.

He said: "December was a busy month for us, not only because of the number of transactions we did but also to meet quarterly pressures of filing as required under the SEBI guidelines."

"Although the regulatory framework of filing draft prospectuses may be fairly standardised," he added, "there are always incremental issues which make each transaction equally fascinating."

Jones Day also recently promoted an India-practice capital markets of counsel Manoj Bhargava in Singapore. Jones Day now sits in fourth place with a total of seven IPOs this financial year to date, having acted as international counsel to the Gujarat Pipavav IPO in December. However, Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins are rising the ranks rapidly.

Crawford Bayley is now placed fifth after it was appointed as corporate counsel to three IPOs: Jaypee Infratech plans to raise 2,500 crore for the construction of the 165km Yamuna Expressway connecting Greater Noida and Agra; Talwalkars Better Value Fitness is a chain of health centers intending to float for Rs 70 crores; and steel company Gallant Ispat plans to invest Rs 40.50 cr raised through its IPO. The Crawford Bayley capital markets team is headed by partner Sanjay Asher.

The Noida office of AZB, meanwhile, finds itself in sixth place after only one December mandate. AZB advised Delhi-based realty firm BPTP, with the the Singapore office of Latham & Watkins acting for the book running lead managers with Luthra & Luthra.

Meanwhile, one-year-old Delhi start-up firm Axon Partners managed to score its first IPO instruction acting for Kolkata-based United Bank of India's five crore offer. The firm acted as sole bankers' counsel opposite Khaitan & Co.

Axon Partners' founding partner Abhimanyu Bhandari said that when the firm first started people claimed it would not be able to attract any IPO mandates, which would only be awarded to larger and more established firms.

He said: "After [lead bankers] State Bank of India went through my credentials they decided that they would introduce me to United Bank of India. They wanted us to be the underwriters' counsel and to do certain business sections [of the documentation]."

Rajani Associates bagged the sole mandate to advise Aster Silicates on its IPO, adding up to the fourth IPO instruction for the firm this year.

The Bangalore office of ALMT Legal also acted as sole advisor to Fatpipe Networks to raise Rs 49 crore through share offerings in order to its enhance research and development activities and product lines of the company.  

The capital markets were also abuzz with smaller IPO filings by firms such Alliance Corporate Lawyers of Mumbai for Sumatex and Rajeev Goel & Associates of Delhi for Tirupati Inks.

IPO legal adviser rankings 1 April - 31 December 2009

Firm Total mandates (+Dec '09 mandates)
Company mandates Underwriter mandates
1 Amarchand Mangaldas 28 (+5)
20 (+4)
8 (+1)
2 Luthra & Luthra 11 (+4)
5 (+1) 6 (+3)
Khaitan & Co 10 (+2)
6 (+1)
4 (+1)
Jones Day 7 (+1)
7 (+1)
5 Crawford Bayley 6 (+3) 5 (+3) 1
AZB & Partners 6 (+1)
3 (+1)
7 S&R Associates 6 (+1)
5 (+1)
8 Dorsey & Whitney 6
Clifford Chance 5 (+1)
10 Latham & Watkins 4 (+2) -
4 (+2)
11 Rajani Associates 3 (+1) 3 (+1) -
Kanga & Co 3 (+1)
1 (+1)
13 Linklaters 3 - 3
14 J Sagar Associates (JSA)
2 -
14 JurisPrudent Consulting Partners
2 -
14 Vaish Associates 2 2 -
17 Ashurst 2 (+1) - 2 (+1)
17 Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom 2 (+1) - 2 (+1)
Source: Legally India

Methodology: legal advisers to all draft prospectuses filed with SEBI in the period 1 April - 31 December 2009. Ranked by total mandates, followed by company mandates.

Click here
for the rankings for the first half of the financial year.

The original version of the article did not include six December IPOs that were uploaded to the SEBI website in early January. We sincerely regret the error and have now corrected the league table.

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