E-tailer Koovs plans overseas listing

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Saturday, March 8, 2014
Published On: 00:02:27 AM

Fashion e-tailer Koovs plans to raise $37 million by listing on London’s junior stock market AIM, as it looks to ride India’s large, but unprofitable e-commerce wave.

The expected first day of trading will be March 10. AIM is a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, and allows smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system.

Koovs India was first established in May 2010 as a general e-commerce store but then was later bought over by a company controlled by the Nahata business family in late 2011.

HFCL group scion Anant Nahata was the one who kick-started Koovs’ growth over the last few years.

In 2012, however, Koovs pivoted to the fashion category after roping in Silvergate Retail Limited (now known as Koovs plc)—which was founded by British entrepreneur Lord Waheed Alli— to provide consultancy services. Lord Alli now serves as Chairman of Koovs India. According to a stock exchange filing, after the IPO, Koovs plc will subscribe to shares of Koovs India and will become its majority (57.7 per cent) owner.

Since foreign investment norms do not allow foreign direct investment in e-commerce, there will be an overhaul in the company’s structure, similar to how other domestic e-tailers have re-jigged their operations to legitimize their foreign funding.

According to the filing, Koovs India will now operate exclusively as a wholesale trading entity.

Marble E-retail Private Limited, which is independently owned and managed, will now operate the website under licence from Koovs India.

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