DIPAM Shortlists Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as Legal Advisor for LIC IPO

The government has shortlisted Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas for giving legal advice on upcoming mega LIC IPO of India’s largest insurance company LIC, an official said. Four law firms Crawford Bayley, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Link Legal and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co had made presentations before the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on September 24. Following presentations, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has been selected as legal advisor for the initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the official told PTI. DIPAM had first floated RFP on July 15 inviting bids from legal advisors for the mega IPO and the last date for bidding was August 6. However, the RFP did not receive sufficient response. Following that, on September 2, it issued a fresh RFP and set September 16 as last date for bidding. Those put in bids made presentation before DIPAM on September 24.

Ten merchant bankers have already been selected for managing the IPO, touted to be the largest in country’s history. The selected names include Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, ICICI Securities Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Capital Co, JM Financial Ltd, Citigroup Inc and Nomura Holdings Inc. The government aims to come out with the IPO and subsequent listing of Life Insurance Corporation on the bourses in the January-March quarter of 2022. The government is also mulling allowing foreign investors to pick up stakes in country’s largest insurer LIC.

As per Sebi rules, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) are permitted to buy shares in a public offer. However, since the LIC Act has no provision for foreign investments, there is a need to align the proposed LIC IPO with Sebi norms regarding foreign investor participation. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July cleared the initial public offering proposal of Life Insurance Corp of India. The ministerial panel known as the Alternative Mechanism on Strategic Disinvestment will now decide on the quantum of stake to be divested by the government. “The potential size of the IPO is expected to be far larger than any precedent in Indian markets,” the department had said. The listing of LIC will be crucial for the government in meeting its disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore for 2021-22 (April-March). So far this fiscal, Rs 9,110 crore has been mopped up through minority stake sales in PSU and sale of SUUTI stake in Axis Bank.