VRG wading through deep waters before IPO

19:00 | 06/01/2018
Due to strict regulations and the erratic price of rubber, Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) might be hindered in reaching its equitisation plan on the heels of its initial public offering (IPO) in the first quarter of 2018.

Earlier, VRG’s charter capital after equitisation was expected to mount to VND40 trillion ($1.76 billion), equivalent to four billion shares.

Specifically, the rubber manufacturer planned to sell 475 million shares, equivalent to 11.88 per cent of the speculated charter capital, through a public auction at the starting price of VND13.000 ($0.57) per share. Additionally, the corporation plans to sell 11.88 per cent of its charter capital to strategic investors, 1.22 per cent to current employees at a discount price, and 0.02 per cent to VRG’s trade union.

According to this equitisation plan, the group expected to divest 25 per cent of its charter capital, which was roughly equivalent to VND6.2 trillion ($273.42 million).

However, the government still planned to maintain its ownership of 75 per cent at VRG, which would partly reduce the appeal of the stakes. In addition, strategic partners were also required to preserve their ownership at VRG for at least five years, which would further impact the group’s attractiveness, especially in light of the erratic price of natural rubber latex.

The rubber giant is in for a bumpy ride prior to the launch of its IPO in 2018

Moreover, VRG’s price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) was also relatively high in comparison to the industry. In particular, the P/E of other rubber enterprises recorded at the final transaction session of 2017, including Phuoc Hoa Rubber JSC (PHR), Dong Phu Rubber JSC (DPR), and Tay Ninh Rubber JSC (TRC) were respectively 6.8, 5.8, and 6.8. However, the P/E of VRG for four billion shares after the equitisation process would be 17 if the company manages to exceeded its profit target of VND3 trillion ($132.3 million).

During 2013-2015, falling rubber prices significantly diminished VRG’s profit from VND3.79 trillion ($167.1 million) in 2013 to VND1.93 trillion ($85.3 million) in 2015. In contrast, since 2016, the enterprise’s profit recovered to VND 2.79 trillion ($123.3 million) due to its restructuring process, which lowered financial costs by 54 per cent.

According to a financial report published by VRG for the first six months of 2017, its profit reached VND8.12 trillion ($357.8 million), while its after-tax profit skyrocketed to VND1.53 trillion ($67.3 million), up respectively 46 and 178 per cent against the same categories in 2016 due to the 30 per cent surge in the price of outputs and the VND966.8 billion ($42.4 million) return from the sale of industrial parks.

During 2018-2020, the group aims at a steady increase of 17.6 per cent a year in revenue. Particularly, the revenue and after-tax profit targets are VND29.4 trillion ($1.2 million) and VND6.08 trillion ($265 million), respectively.

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By By Khac Lam

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