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Jabong may go for public listing within a year

By Karan Choudhury & Alnoor Peermohamed|Business Standard | Vjmedia Works | June 19, 2014

According to industry estimates, Jabong, which started operations in 2012, is currently valued at $450-500 million

Jabong, a leading online fashion retailer, is gearing up for a public listing within the next six to 12 months, it is learnt. The company is likely to choose one of its existing auditing partners - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and KPMG - as an advisor for the listing process.

Though Jabong was planning to list on a bourse in the US or Europe, it might explore options in India as well, a company source told Business Standard, adding the fashion retailer was putting the processes and systems in place for a listing. The company refused to comment on the matter.

According to industry estimates, Jabong, which started operations in 2012, is currently valued at $450-500 million. It houses more than 1,000 brands and generates annual sales (gross merchandise value) of $300 million.

Before this, fashion e-retailer Koovs had listed itself on AIM (formerly Alternative Investment Market), a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, to become the first Indian e-commerce company to go abroad for listing. Besides, other e-commerce companies like Snapdeal and Flipkart are also looking to list over the next 12-18 months. Flipkart has, however, denied any specific timeline for a public offering.
At present, JustDial is the only listed internet-based company in India. Among travel companies, MakeMyTrip was listed on the US Nasdaq in 2010.

According to experts, as the e-commerce sector readies itself for a larger share of the retail market, top players are looking for better valuations.

Listing abroad is a favourable option because of conducive regulations and greater exposure to the pool of investors. "The biggest issue for e-commerce companies is achieving profitability. In India, it can be tricky to list if you are not profitable," said a source close to the development.

The enthusiasm of online retailers to go for public listing reflects the sector's growth potential. E-commerce in India, according to a KPMG report, could grow to $50-70 billion by 2020 from $13 billion now.

EYEING THE BIG MARKET

$450-500 mn
Jabong's estimated valuation

$300 mn
Annual sales (gross merchandise value) through over 1,000 brands
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