July 19: Smaaash Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the virtual sports and entertainment company backed by sporting celebrities, is gearing up to launch its initial public offering. According to people close to the matter, Smaaash will be eyeing to raise Rs500 crore from the market with its IPO.
Investment bankers have already been appointed for the process, which is expected to take place by the end of the current year. Smaaash is yet to make an official statement regarding the development.
Smaaash had recently signed an agreement with I-Am Capital, selling a stake of 24.5% for $49 million to the latter. The $49 million round which began in May this year is now expected to get closed before the end of August. The IPO process will be commencing soon once the round closes.
Prior to the deal with I-Am Capita, Smaaash had also raised Rs90crore from high net-worth individual (HNIs) clients of Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. It had also acquired PVR BluO Entertainment Ltd, the bowling-oriented joint venture of PVR Ltd and Major Cineplex Group, for Rs 86 crore.
The cash raised through the IPO will be used by Smaaash for debt repayment and funding its inorganic growth initiatives and working capital requirements.
Smaaash was founded in 2012 by businessman Shripal Morakhia, and is endorsed by Cricketing celebrities including Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. The company owns and operates digital entertainment centres across 30 cities in India for sports like cricket, football, go-karting and bowling. Apart from its centres in India, Smaaash also own virtual game centres in the US. The company is now eyeing for a major global expansion by opening its centres in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.