Digit Insurance re-files IPO documents after regulator concerns

Digit Insurance re-files IPO documents after regulator concerns

India's Go Digit Insurance has re-filed draft papers for a $440 million initial public offering (IPO) after addressing the market regulator's concerns related to the company's employee stock plans, which had stalled the offering for months. The IPO comprises a fresh issue of shares worth 12.5 billion rupees ($152.1 million) and an offer for sale of 109.4 million shares, according to the draft prospectus - unchanged from its last filing - dated March 30.

Digit, which operates in the general insurance sector and counts Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa's Fairfax Group and TVS Capital Funds among its backers, first filed for an IPO in August last year. However, its listing plans were stalled by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in September because of compliance problems related to share issuances. SEBI restarted a review later that month. The IPO faced another setback in January this year after SEBI raised certain compliance issues related to employee stock plans in a private letter.

Digit told Reuters in January it was evaluating amendments to its employee stock appreciation rights scheme after receiving SEBI's letter. Such rights provided by the company enabled an employee to receive a bonus equivalent to the rise in the company's stock price over a certain period, which Indian regulations prohibit for companies going public.

Due to this, Digit was found "not to be eligible for making an initial public offer," according to SEBI's letter. The IPO would be on hold until the company changed its employee stock rights to stock option plans and refiled papers with the regulator, Reuters reported.

Go Digit's latest filing shows it has changed its employee stock rights to stock option plans after approving the plan through a special resolution on March 27. The company, last valued at $3.5 billion by Sequoia Capital, provides general insurance services. The company plans to use the IPO proceeds to maintain its solvency ratio.