Linklaters and Duane Morris advise on India's largest-ever IPO

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas provide local law advice on LIC's $2.7bn listing
The LIC building in New Delhi

The LIC building in New Delhi mrinalpal; Shutterstock

Linklaters and Duane Morris have teamed up with two leading local firms to advise Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on its $2.7bn IPO, India's largest-ever listing. 

Linklaters and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) advised the lead managers on the deal while Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) and Duane Morris teamed up to advise LIC. 

The listing surpassed the previous record, clocked up by mobile payment and financial services company Paytm, which went public in a $2.4bn offering last year. 

The Magic Circle UK firm’s team included capital markets partner Amit Singh, counsel Joseph Wolpin and managing associate Anadee Banerji. 

Based in Singapore, Singh heads up the firm’s capital markets practice in South and Southeast Asia. His team worked alongside the group fielded by CAM, which included national capital markets practice head Prashant Gupta as well as partner Sayantan Dutta and associates Ruth Chenchiah, Shweta Agarwal, Rudresh Mandal and Sridutt Mishra. 

Singh said: “We are honoured to have had the opportunity to work on India’s largest ever IPO. This is not only a landmark transaction in the insurance industry, but also in the wider development of the Indian equity capital markets.”

Advising on LIC’s market debut means SAM has advised on all three of India’s largest IPOs – it acted in connection to Paytm’s listing last year and worked on government-owned mining and refining corporation Coal India’s IPO in 2010. 

The government-selected investment banks chosen to manage the listing included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Nomura and Bank of America Securities, as well as domestic players JM Financial, SBI Capital Markets, Kotak Mahindra Capital, ICICI Securities and Axis Capital. 

CAM’s team, meanwhile, included partners Yash Ashar, Gokul Rajan, Devaki Mankad, Indranath Bishnu, Amita Gupta Katragadda, Indranil Deshmukh, Gathi Prakash, Jyoti Dastidar, Preksha Malik, and SR Patnaik, according to Asian Legal Business

Duane Morris’ group was led by Singapore partner and capital markets practice director Jamie Benson and included Philadelphia-based partner Hope Krebs and Singapore-based associates Lucia Orozco and Yeo Ming Ze. 

The Philadelphia firm has acted in connection to four IPOs in India since 2017.

LIC, a state-owned insurance group and investment company, is by far the biggest Indian insurer, accounting for two-thirds of the total market share with more than $450bn worth of assets. 

It raised $2.7bn upon listing and closed with a market value of around $71.54bn, denoting a share price of 875.25 rupees compared to the IPO price of 949 rupees, Reuters reported

Originally touted as the ‘listing of the decade’, LIC’s IPO struggled to attract initial interest from law firms due in part to comparatively low fees on government mandates and the sheer complexity of the total undertaking. 

That prompted the government to sweeten the deal.

The LIC’s massive portfolio of investments, complex business structure and array of products would make it a “nightmare for lawyers to draft the prospectus”, Nitin Potdar, an M&A partner at Indian law firm J. Sagar Associates, said in September.

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