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Kaveri Seeds - IPO Note

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kaveri Seeds produces, processes and markets high quality hybrid seeds for crops like corn, sunflower, cotton, paddy, and grain sorghum. Located in Andhra Pradesh, the company is one of the few recognised agri-input companies in India. The company has production, processing and R & D facilities in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Its R&D mainly focuses on developing superior hybrids in different crops like corn, cotton, sunflower, paddy, and bajra. All the seed varieties developed are marketed under the brand, Kaveri Seeds.

Kaveri Agriteck, a partnership, was acquired by Kaveri Seeds for Rs 50 lakh in September 2006. Kaveri Agriteck was a venture floated to manufacture micronutrients and bio-products.

Kaveri Seeds has four seed processing plants with 11 processing lines in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The company has a combined processing capacity of 18,000 tonnes per annum. It also has a cob drying plant (to improve the germination, vigour and viability of the corn seed and, in turn, improve the yield of the crop) at two different locations in Andhra Pradesh.

The R&D facilities of Kaveri Seeds are at six different locations in Andhra Pradesh. The one in the Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh is recognised by the Department of Science & Technology, government of India. The R&D infrastructure includes 273 acres of farmland and state-of-the-art lab facility. About 187 acres of it are owned by the company. The rest are on lease. This protects its germplasm and related operations against any misuse and biopiracy. Fifty-five employees including 13 scientists are engaged in full-fledged research.

The extensive network of loyal and committed distributors and dealers in Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh include 736 distributors and 3,500 dealers across southern India.

Kaveri Seeds intends to aggressively expand its operation to other states to have a pan-India presence. The company intends to finance its Rs 63-crore expansion plan from the proceeds of the public issue. The expansion includes acquiring farmland for R&D, setting up a marketing network in north India, establishing corn-cob drying and seed-processing plants apart from a biotechnology laboratory. The expansion is scheduled to begin in October 2007 and complete by May 2008 in a phased manner. Besides, it also wants to upgrade its existing facilities by November 2008.


  1. Geographical expansion plans in north and east will result in volume-led growth.
  2. Moving up the value chain by introducing better quality products yielding high margin. Reduced dependence on outsourced production of foundation seed has resulted in substantial expansion of operating margin in the year ending March 2007 (FY 2007).


  1. Mainly dependent on two crops – corn and sunflower – which contributed over 68% of the revenue in FY 2007. Similarly, has strong presence only in four states:. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  2. Operates in the agri-inputs industry, which faces risks related to weather, pests and diseases.
  3. The Indian seeds industry is highly competitive with a number of Indian as well as MNC players.
  4. Has witnessed continuous reduction in debtors’ turnover due to rising credit periods. The debtors’ turnover has come down from 5.1 times in FY 2003 to 3.67 in FY 2007.


Kaveri Seeds has set a price band of Rs 150 to Rs 170 per equity share of Rs 10 each, translating into a PE of 19.5x on the lower price band and 22.1x on the higher side of the price band, according to EPS for FY 2007 on post-issue equity of Rs. 13.70 crore.

Monsanto India, the listed Indian subsidiary of Monsanto, US, which also sells hybrid seeds and genetically modified seeds to Indian farmers is presently trading at PE of 22x based on FY 2007 EPS.

Another hybrid seeds player J.K Agro Genetics is currently trading at PE multiple of 13x based on FY 2007 EPS.

The seeds industry is not a high-growth industry as its operations are sensitive to agro-climatic factors and unpredictable fluctuations. Moreover, Kaveri Seeds has shown substantial profit only in FY 2007 and its plans to enter the northern markets will take time to bear fruits.

In view of these factors, the asking P/E of around 20 looks high.

Posted by FR at 7:27 PM  


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