Nazara's $550m plans for India's first games industry IPO

Mumbai-based mobile games publisher preparing for public listing

India could see a games publisher float for the first time by the end of the financial year.

The India Times reports that Nazara Technologies has begun work on an IPO, aiming for a value of 10bn rupees ($156.3m). Sources close to the plans claim ICICI Securities and Edelweiss Financial Services have been called in to assist.

While Nazara is aiming for 10bn rupees, the report claims the company could be valued at between 30bn and 35bn, the latter translating to $550m.

Nazara was first founded in 2000, and is best known for a mobile cricket games and titles based on popular Indian kids cartoon Chhota Bheem. It has been profitable since 2007.

A successful IPO will also be good news for WestBridge Capital, which owns a 55% stake in the company. The firm has invested $3m in Nazara, with the rest of its shares owned by founder Nitish Mittersain and his family. The India Times reports the public issue is "expected to give WestBridge Capital a partial exit."

The mobile games market in India was worth $200m in 2016 and is expected to grow to $3bn by 2019. Nazara's IPO could draw more investor attention to the games industry, which has yet to see a floatation despite its growth. Financial expert Deloitte believes it could also prompt more IPO from Indian games firms.

Earlier this year, Nazara pledged to invest $20m into a five-year plan that will expand India's esports scene.

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