Fairfax India completes offering shares for $500 million

Canadian investor Prem Watsa's Fairfax India Holdings Corporation has successfully raised $500 million through a public offering and private placement. Fairfax will use the proceeds to invest in public and private companies in India.

The company today said that the public offering, of 1,27,66,000 subordinate voting shares at a price of $11.75 per share, was underwritten by a syndicate co-led by RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities Inc. Other underwriters included BMO Capital Markets, CIBC World Markets Inc, Cormark Securities Inc, National Bank Financial Inc, Canaccord Genuity Corp and Desjardins Securities Inc.

The underwriters have been granted an over-allotment option, which can be exercised wholly or partly within 30 days after the closing of the public offering. This option allows them to purchase an additional 1,914,900 subordinate voting shares. If exercised in full, this would increase the total gross proceeds of the public offering to approximately $172.5 million.

Along with the public offering, the company issued 12,766,000 and 17,021,500 subordinate voting shares, respectively to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and OMERS, the pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees, at a price of $11.75 a share, in a private placement. The aggregate gross proceeds would be approximately $350 million.

The combined gross proceeds of the public offering and private placement are about $500 million.

The company, which is an investment holding firm, plans to use the net proceeds of both fund-raising exercises to make additional investments in Indian companies and for general corporate purposes, including repayment of loans.

Generally, subject to compliance with applicable laws, the Indian investments will be made with a view to acquiring control or significantly influential positions. The investments are to achieve long-term capital appreciation, while preserving capital, by investing in public and private equity securities and debt instruments in India and Indian businesses or other businesses with customers, suppliers or business primarily conducted in, or dependent on India, said the company.

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