In this briefing:
- The GER Weekly EVENTS Wrap: Don Quijote, M1, Healius and Upcoming M&A Catalysts
- 2019 M&A/IPO Preview: Chinese Express Sector Quickly Building Out ‘Last-Mile’ & Int’l Capabilities
- Leong Hup IPO Preview: A Game of Chicken
- BGF Holdings Stub Trade: More Price Correction on Sub Is Still Ahead
- Godrej Agrovet to Merge with Astec Lifesciences: An Arbitrage Opportunity Coupled with Concerns.
In this week’s GER M&A wrap, we highlight the dwindling likelihood of a follow-on deal for Don Quijote Holdings (7532 JP) , which is now trading below terms. Secondly, we take a contrarian view on the M1 Ltd (M1 SP) deal and contend there is less likely to be a bidding war. Finally, we update on rejected by Healius (HLS AU) and provide a comprehensive list of upcoming catalysts for near-term M&A deals.
The rest of our event-driven research can be found below.
Best of luck for the new week – Rickin, Venkat and Arun
2. 2019 M&A/IPO Preview: Chinese Express Sector Quickly Building Out ‘Last-Mile’ & Int’l Capabilities
A year ago we published a note that described how we expected corporate activity in China’s domestic express sector to play out in 2018 (see 2018 M&A/IPO Activity Preview: Chinese Express, Logistics Sectors Hit by Slower Growth & BABA Vs JD). In this new piece, we look back at how things actually played out in the sector last year and look forward to 2019 and beyond.
We’ve divided this year’s piece into four sections:
- A quick review of our expectations from 2018, and how things actually played out
- New (and ongoing) trends we expect to see in express sector M&A this year
- The continued battle for leadership between Alibaba Group Holding (BABA US) and JD.com Inc (ADR) (JD US)
- Potential IPO candidates for 2019 and beyond
We expect Chinese domestic express demand to continue to moderate in 2019, and in response we expect the express companies to increase their investments in ‘last-mile’ and international delivery, which will probably create a drag on profitability in the medium-term. Although we believe e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com would like their growing portfolios of logistics investments to become self-funding sooner rather than later, we foresee somewhat limited investor appetite for more large Chinese logistics IPOs in 2019, since many high-profile offerings have faltered since going public.
Leong Hup International (LEHUP MK) is one of the largest producers of poultry, eggs and livestock feeds in Southeast Asia. After an unusually quite 2018, Malaysia’s equity capital market is set for rebound with at least three issuers looking to raise up to $500 million from IPOs. Leong Hup is set to the be the first as it has started the search for cornerstone investors.
Helped by the current imbalance between available Malaysian IPOs and the dry powder among investors, Leong Hup is seeking a premium rating. However, our analysis suggests the ability of Leong Hup to command a premium rating faces challenges.
- BGF Retail (282330 KS) was down 12% last week. BGF Co Ltd (027410 KS) was down only 4.5%. Finally, they are now above 20D MA. This happens for the first time since late Nov. But Holdco discount is still at 50%. Similarly, price ratio is still close to the yearly low.
- Usually, I’d close a position when I reach ±0.5~0 σ on 20D MA. In this case, Holdco discount is too harsh to do so. Sub price/price ratio has been negatively correlated. Valuation wise, Sub price correction isn’t over yet. PER on FY19e is around 20x. This is about 7% higher than GS Retail (007070 KS) even though GS Retail EBITDA margin is slightly higher.
- It also appears that sentiments on the entire retail sector won’t improve any time soon. The government is hinting a possible change on minimum wage. This is positive on Sub. But fundamentally, Korean CCSI is still on the decline. The newly implemented franchisee support measures will further worsen sentiments. I wouldn’t close this position yet.
Godrej Agrovet is a large conglomerate operating in various business verticals in the agriculture sector. It is looking to merge with Astec LifeSciences which is a pure agro-chemical company that focusses on Chemical molecule production and formulation for domestic and export markets. In this report, we analyze the implications of the merger as well as the impact on minority shareholders in both companies.