Silverline prices ADS at between $23 and $25

Silverline Technologies has priced its American depositary shares at a discount of between 9.7% and 19.2% to the company''s closing share price on the Mumbai Stock Exchange yesterday.
Silverline Technologies, an Indian Information technology services company, priced its American depositary shares (ADS) at between $23 and $25, according to underwriter Salomon Smith Barney. If investors buy at the top end of the range the company could raise as much as $130 million to expand its facilities and make acquisitions.
Mumbai-based Silverline plans to sell 10.4 million shares, equivalent to 5.2 million ADS. The company has also set aside 780,000 ADS for an overallotment option, bringing the total amount it could raise to $149.5 million. The price represents a discount of between 9.7% and 19.2% to Silverline's closing price of Rs612.6 ($13.71) on the Mumbai Stock Exchange yesterday. Assuming the sale is successful, Silverline will be the first Indian information technology company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

India's summer

Silverline is the latest in a rash of Indian technology companies to tap the US equity markets. Last week, a web portal, became the first Indian portal company to be listed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Other Indian companies listed on the NYSE include financial services company ICICI and its ICIC Bank subsidiary. On the Nasdaq, Silverline is preceded by internet services provider Satyam Infoway and consulting and software company Infosys Technologies.
"The whole Indian high-tech industry is drawing attention from global investors because it's got a proven track record in IT," says Steven Cheung, analyst at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong. "The Indian market is picking up after is post-1997 depression and investors are looking for an excuse to diversify from overvalued markets like Hong Kong and Korea."
Silverline, which provides technology solutions for e-commerce, systems maintenance, internet and multimedia development, had revenue of $87.6 million in 1999 and made a net profit of $15.8 million, or 24 diluted cents a share. Its US unit, Silverline Technologies Inc., is based in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The company's shares have risen 224% to Rs612.6 on the Mumbai Stock Exchange in the past year. The reached a 52-week high of Rs1,395 on 22 February. The shares are also traded on the Madras Stock Exchange and the Ahmedabad Stock Exchange.