Asia Markets Headlines

Owner of India's biggest airline files for IPO

Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg | Getty Images

InterGlobe Aviation, which owns the country's biggest airline IndiGo, on Tuesday filed a draft prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) to list on the domestic stock market and cash in on a booming air travel market.

InterGlobe Aviation said in a statement the IPO would include a sale of up to 12.7 billion rupees ($199.64 million) of new shares, and the sale of up to 30.15 million of existing shares.

Banking sources have previously said the share sale is expected to raise around $400 million in total.

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Those selling existing shares include travel entrepreneur Rahul Bhatia and former U.S. Airways CEO Rakesh Gangwal, who co-founded IndiGo back in 2006, according to the draft prospectus.

Budget carrier IndiGo, which operates a fleet of 96 planes, has grown to become India's biggest airline by market share and now carries one in three of India's air travelers.

Free wifi now available at the Taj Mahal
Free wifi now available at the Taj Mahal

The country's aviation market is growing rapidly, but most players have struggled to make money because of high costs and competition that have forced airlines to offer hefty discounts on fares.

IndiGo's main budget rivals include SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia India.

The airline specializes in placing large orders for jets and selling them on to lessors before renting them back to reduce capital costs, but it has denied that the sale-and-leaseback model is the main driver of its profits.

It made a profit of 4.73 billion rupees in the fiscal year to March 2014 fiscal year, compared with 7.83 billion rupees a year earlier.

Citigroup, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS and Kotak Mahindra are managers for the InterGlobe share sale.