UPDATE 1-Indian biscuit maker Mrs Bectors’ shares double in market debut

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(Adds context, company background, IPO information)

BENGALURU, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Shares in Indian biscuit maker Mrs Bectors Food Specialities Ltd more than doubled in their market debut on Thursday, in a latest sign of strong investor appetite for the country’s food sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial public offering (IPO), which was nearly 200 times oversubscribed, comes days after Burger King India – a company to which Mrs Bectors sells buns – also enjoyed a strong stock market debut.

Mrs Bectors raised about $73 million in the IPO. The company makes cookies, creams and crackers under its flagship “Cremica” brand, besides bakery products such as breads, buns and cakes branded “English Oven”.

Shares of the company opened at 500 rupees per share on the National Stock Exchange, well above the initial public offering price of 288 rupees.

At its session high, the company had a market value of 35.25 billion rupees ($478.81 million).

Mrs Bectors will use proceeds from the fresh issue of 1.4 million shares in its IPO to set up a biscuit production line in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

For the year ended March 2020, the company posted https:// a profit of 304 million rupees and revenue from operations of 7.62 billion rupees, a fall of 8.3% and 2.8%, respectively.

SBI (NS:) Capital Markets Limited and ICICI Securities Limited were among the lead book runners for the IPO. ($1 = 73.6200 Indian rupees)

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