It would be interesting to see how generic drug maker Alkem Laboratories' shares list on the stock exchanges on Wednesday, 23 December.

Having said that, what probably has gone unnoticed is the similarity between Alkem Labs and the recent initial public offering (IPO) by Interglobe Aviation that owns private air carrier IndiGo. The promoters of both the companies enriched themselves with generous bonus shares on the eve of going to the public. In case of Alkem, the word "generous" is an understatement.

Alkem's issue of bonus shares over the years would give insights of how the equity capital base grew.

The first bonus issue in March 1995 comprised 28.91 lakh equity shares to the promoters at a ratio of 13:1 (thirteen bonus shares for every equity share held).

This was followed by a 1:1 bonus issue in March 2006, of 59.78 lakh shares.

In March this year, a similar issue of 5.97 crore shares was made, in the ratio of 1:1.

On the same day, 16 March, 2015, the company split the face value of its share from Rs 10 per share to Rs 2 per share. The company's 23 promoters hold 64,302,440 equity shares constituting 53.8% of the issued and paid-up equity share capital.

It's a striking similarity with Interglobe Aviation, which also issued a generous bonus issue to its promoters in the ratio of 9:1 (nine bonus shares for every share held) in June, 2015, months before it approached the public in November 2015 with its IPO. The company's issue price was Rs 765 per share and it listed at a premium on 10 November.

The generous bonus offer was justified by Interglobe Aviation's promoters Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal while admitting the "optics were not good." 

The move was criticised by analysts and investment advisors, according to The Economic Times.

Alkem's IPO of 12,853,442 equity shares of face value of Rs 2 per share was oversubscribed 44 times and the company priced its IPO at Rs 1,050 per share, at the top end of the price band Rs 1,020-1050, raising Rs 1,350 crore. The offer opened on 8 December and closed on 10 December.

The company came out with an IPO not for expansion but to merely sell 12, 853,442 equity shares being held by the promoters and existing shareholders and in the process, get the shares listed on stock exchanges, according to its offer document.

Thus, the company's equity structure of 119.56 million equity shares will remain unchanged after the public issue.

The 42-year-old company's 2014-15 turnover was Rs 3,783 crore, with 25% revenues derived from exports. The company grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 22.3% between 2010-11 and 2014-15, according to the offer document.