Mumbai: Amareshwara Agri Bio, a Hyderabad-based biotechnology company, has decided to tap the capital markets with a Rs 25-crore initial public offering (IPO). The company has roped in Mumbai-based merchant banking firm Firstcall India Equity Advisors as their financial advisors to navigate the IPO process.
The company's move assumes significance because Amareshwara will be the first biotech company to hit the stock exchange with its maiden public issue after the biotech boom that started in India in late 1999. The biotech firm Biocon India's Rs 100 crore IPO was to hit the capital market in 2002. But the company, based in Bangalore, put off its IPO plans due to unfavourable market conditions.
Says Amareshwara Agri managing director K Prasad: "These opportunities that are presently available and the future growth plans in biotechnology will definitely make any investment lucrative and highly profitable."
He said the IPO proceeds will be used for the expansion activities of the firm. The management of the company has identified development of genetically modified crops as one of the potential areas for growth and will set up a biotechnology lab to carry on research and development in this segment.
Firstcall India country head VVLN Sastry: "We will shortlist the lead managers and registrar of the issue soon. Steps have been taken to file the IPO prospects with all the concerned regulatory bodies."
Amareshwara is one of the leading agri-biotech firms in the cotton hybrid seed segment. The company has a net work of more than 15,000 seed farmers and does contract production in over 20,000 acres of land under its various production programmes in the seed production areas of cotton, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, sunflower, hybrid rice, soybean and vegetable seeds.
Prasad says the company management has also laid down plans to produce and market bio-control agents like tricodermavirde, pseudomonas, bavariabassiana for effectively controlling pests and diseases of plants and also to produce bio fertilisers and growth promoting agents to totally substitute chemical inputs for achieving higher productivity.
Amareshwara has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Development, for DNA fingerprinting of newly developed hybrids, which will help patenting of those hybrids by the company. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with IARI, New Delhi, for promoting their newly developed basmati rice hybrids and varieties.