Big deal: Godrej Agrovet enters stock market

Temasek-backed Godrej Agrovet has successfully floated on India’s National Stock Exchange, with shares shooting up on the first day of trading.

Earlier this month, Global Government Venturing took a look at the initial public offering of Scotland-based cancer treatment developer Nucana, backed by government-owned investment vehicle Scottish Investment Bank.

Now, in another sign that the lull in flotations may be over, India-based diversified agro-business Godrej Agrovet has also entered the public stock market following an oversubscribed Rs11.57bn ($135m) initial public offering.

The company, backed by Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek, undertook a dual listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.

Godrej Agrovet conducted its initial public offering at a price range of Rs450 to Rs460 a share, but started its first day on the public markets today at Rs615.6 – a 33.8% premium – and rose as high as Rs630. As of the time of writing – 3:30pm in India – it stands at Rs592.

Founded in 1991, Godrej Agrovet is active in a wide range of agricultural areas, from animal feed and agrochemicals production to operating palm oil plantations and processing poultry.

The company is set to use proceeds towards general corporate purposes and the repaymemt of loans.

Temasek invested Rs5.72bn in Godrej Agrovet in 2012 and held a 20% stake ahead of the flotation. The firm offered 12.3 million shares for sale during the initial public offering, through its V-Sciences Investments subsidiary, and now owns a 13% stake – fetching more than Rs5.56bn in the process.

Godrej Agrovet’s parent company, Godrej Industries, offered Rs3bn worth of shares for sale but retains a 60.8% majority stake.

The company had earlier secured approximately $1.5m in a pre-initial public offering from some 50 employees across various subsidiaries of the Godrej Industries conglomerate – consumer goods manufacturer Godrej Consumer Products, real estate firm Godrej Properties, grocery retailer Nature’s Basket, poultry goods producer Godrej Tyson Foods and industrial consultancy Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing.

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, Axis Capital and Credit Suisse Securities (India) managed the issue.

The success of Godrej Agrovet’s flotation may not be much of a surprise – the company has been around for more than two and a half decades, and during that time has grabbed significant market shares.

But the timing of its decision to enter the public stock market is notable in that it may very well signify an increased interest in that type of exit. With Nucana and Godrej Agrovet choosing that route in rapid succession, the odds are certainly looking better.

See more from this Government Report: Singapore

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