Apex Frozen Foods IPO opens for subscription; here are 10 things to know

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    Aquaculture products exporter Apex Frozen Foods has opened its initial public offering for subscription on Tuesday, August 22.

    The company aims to raise around Rs 152 crore through the issue that will close on August 24.

    On Monday, the company raised Rs 43 crore from anchor investors – Reliance Capital Trustee Company, HSBC Midcap Equity Fund, HSBC India Opportunities Fund and ITPL –Invesco India Contra Fund.

    Its equity shares will be listed on NSE and BSE. Karvy Investor Services Limited is the book running lead manager to the issue.

    Here are 10 things you should know about Apex Frozen before subscribing the issue:-

    About the company

    Apex is one of the integrated producer and exporter of shelf stable quality aquaculture products. It supplies ready-to-cook products to food companies, retail chains, restaurants, club stores and distributors spread across the developed markets of USA, UK and various European countries.

    Company produces two kinds of shrimps namely the Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and the Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon).

    The company sold variants of processed Vannamei shrimp (White shrimp) under the brands owned by customers and also through its own brands namely Bay fresh, Bay Harvest and BayPremium.

    Its integrated operations span across hatchery and farming on 1,337.69 acres of land. Its processing facility is located at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh with a capacity to process approximately over 9,240 MTPA of finished products and an additional non-exclusive pre-processing and processing arrangement at a facility owned by Royale Marine Impex Private Limited located at Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh, for a capacity to process around 3,000 MTPA of finished products.

    The processing facilities are supplemented by cold storage facilities located at Kakinada and Bapatla. Along with this, it has its own fleet of vehicles with freezing capabilities.

    About the Issue

    Apex launched the public issue of up to 87 lakh equity shares which will be offered through a book-building route.

    The issue comprises of fresh issue of 72.5 lakh shares and an offer for sale of 14.5 lakh shares by promoters Karuturi Satyanarayana Murthy (7.25 lakh shares) and Karuturi Padmavathi (7.25 lakh shares).

    The issue also includes a reservation of up to 4 lakh equity shares for subscription by eligible employees. The issue would constitute up to 27.84 percent on post issue paid-up capital.

    The company targets to raise Rs 152.25-148.77 crore at a price-band of Rs 171–175 per share.

    Objects of the Issue

    Apex proposes to utilise the net proceeds (Rs 90.15 crore) from the fresh issue for setting up a new shrimp processing unit with a proposed capacity of 20,000 MTPA at East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh and general corporate purposes.

    It will not receive any proceeds from the offer for sale.

    Competitive Strengths

    It is able to achieve economies of scale due to synergised business operations. It sources approximately 15-20 percent of raw material requirements through own farming efforts. It has uninterrupted supply of raw shrimp.

    Operational facilities are strategically located along the costal belt of Andhra Pradesh.

    It has long-standing relationships with numerous global customers in USA, UK and various European countries.

    It focuses on quality control measures and research & development initiatives.

    It has proven and experienced management team.

    Farming at ponds allows the company to procure raw materials and ensures that business of shrimp processing is cost effective.

    It has robust financial performance

    Financial Performance

    Exports contributed significantly to financial strength of the company. Total revenues grew from Rs 255.48 crore in FY13 to Rs 709.68 crore in FY17, at a CAGR of 29.10 percent and profit after tax increased from Rs 9.41 crore in FY13 to Rs 24.4 crore in FY17, at a CAGR of 26.89 percent.

    The growth was aided by rising demand for aquaculture products globally especially from USA and European Union, favourable state policies, and shifting of seafood processing activities by south-east Asian countries to India.

    Currently sales to the USA for FY17 accounted for 82 percent of total revenue, whereas sales to UK and various European countries account for 17.77 percent of revenues, respectively.

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    Shareholding

    The top 10 shareholders of the company:-

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    Promoters

    Karuturi Satyanarayana Murthy, aged 61 years, is the chairman and managing director of the company. He has an experience of 20 years in aquaculture industry. He has setup partnership firm ‘Apex Exports’ in 1995 to export shrimps which was later converted into Apex Frozen Foods Private Limited.

    Karuturi Subrahmanya Chowdary, aged 37 years, is the executive director. He has an experience of 12 years in aquaculture industry. He is involved in the business operations and marketing activities.

    Karuturi Neelima Devi, aged 32 years is the whole time director. She holds a bachelor degree in science from Andhra University and has over 5 years of experience in the aqua industry. She has experience in administration.

    Business and Growth Strategies

    Apex intends to set up new processing facility to continue to improve operational efficiencies and expand operations and sales. It also proposes to set-up a facility for processing value-added products.

    It intends to increase the share of value-added product portfolio by focusing on different aspect of ready to eat shrimp, cooked shrimp, dusted shrimp and breaded shrimp, to cater to the evolving customer trends, taste, demand and requirements.

    The company intends to increase global footprint and further grow business in the USA and the emerging markets of Europe by expanding sales and distribution networks. Its current clientele consists of 100 percent international customers that are from US and Europe.

    It intends to increase and enhance goodwill attached to name through various strategic branding initiatives.

    It intends to augment area under cultivation. Company’s total cultivable shrimp farming land (as on the date of RHP) is 1,337.69 acres with 105.78 acres of owned land and 1,231.91 acres of leased land.

    It will further improve the technology and research & development platform.

    Dividend Policy

    Apex announced dividend of Re 1 per share in FY17 but it has not paid any dividend in FY13-16.

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    Financial Indebtedness

    Company avails loans in the ordinary course of business for the purposes of meeting working capital requirements and capital expenditure including purchase of machinery and equipment for carrying out day-to-day operations.

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    Risks

    Brokerage houses pointed out some risks and concerns:-

    White leg shrimps are susceptible to baculovirus and parvovirus. These diseases are difficult to treat.

    Due to ease of cultivation and maintenance, white leg shrimps are produced in most of the exporting countries, leading to fierce competition.

    The margins in processing are wafer thin.

    Due to high exports, the revenues are directly affected by rupee movement.

    Any adverse developments or changes in export markets may adversely impact Apex’ business, financial condition and results of operations.

    Its aquaculture farms operate in an environment sensitive industry.

    Apex is subject to anti-dumping duty levied on shrimp exports by the US government.

    Any disruption in labour industry or strikes by AFFL workforce may affect the production capability of the company.

    AFFL derives a significant portion of AFFL’s revenue from a few customers.

    Its processing facility and procurement operations are concentrated in Andhra Pradesh region.

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