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Saturday, 23 September 2017

APAC Realty Limited



APAC Realty Limited ("APAC" or the "Company") is offering 48,914,200 shares at $0.66 each, of which 44,503,200 shares is distributed via placement and 4,411,00 shares via Public Offering. The offer will be subject to over-allotment option where up to 9.75m shares (or 19.9% of the offering shares) can be sold. The IPO will close on 26 Sep 2017 at 12pm and starts trading on 28 Sep 2017. The prospectus is here. The market cap based on the enlarged shares is around $205.3m

History

For investors who don't know the Company, this was previously known as Hersing Corporation and Northstar led the management buyout from the previous owner Harry Chua (who owns the Tim Ho Wan franchise in Singapore) around Aug 2013. Jack Chua, unrelated to Harry Chua, became the CEO after helping to grow ERA Singapore into the largest real estate agency in Singapore. The news article is here. The Company is now being re-listed as APAC Realty Limited.

Business Model

The Company has an easy to understand model and the prospectus made it even easier with a succinct graphical view on its business model. Basically the revenue is the commission that is generated from the property transactions


Financial Performance


The Company ended FY 2016 with a revenue of $284m and a net profit of $15.9m. Q1 2017 continues to see improved revenue and profitability where net profit increased by 109% from $1.926m to $4.031m. Based on the adjusted EPS of 4.47 for FY2016, the Company is listing at the historical PER of 14.7x. Q1 is usually a slower period but the Company seemed to have pulled off one of the highest growth quarter on quarter of 109%. 


Assuming i am less aggressive in my projection of using 35% growth for FY2017 and a further 20% growth for FY2018, the EPS will grow to 5.58 Singapore cents in FY2017 and 6.7 Singapore cents in FY2018. This translate into a PER of 11.8x and 9.8x for FY 2017 and FY 2018 respectively.  

The Company is listing at the right time where its revenue and net profit is seeing an uptick due to the turnaround in the Singapore market. See article here.

Use of Proceeds

The Company intends to use the proceeds to strengthen and expand its presence in Singapore, expand its range of services and geographical presence in the Asia Pacific and enhance its technological capabilities


What I like about the Company
  • One of the largest agent networks in Singapore. In this business, you will need scale and we have seen several consolidation in the market place in the last 12 months where Propnex acquire Dennis Wee and Orange Tee merged with Edmund Tie & Company. APAC commands about 21% of the agency share in Singapore in 2016. Its market share in 2012 was 15.1%.
  • The Company has been resilient and profitable for the last 10 years - The Company was profitable even during the global financial crisis and for the last 3-4 years where the Singapore property market is languishing. This bodes well with the perceived upturn in the Singapore property cycle in the coming years

  • The Company intends to distribute 50% of its net profit after tax from the Listing Date to 31 Dec 2017 and for FY 2018 as dividends. Assuming an EPS of 6.7 Singapore Cents, the DPS will be around 3.35 Singapore cents for FY2018. This translates into a yield of 5.08%, which is decent since i have been conservative (i hope) in estimating the EPS growth. My gut feel is that the dividend policy will continue given that its major owner is a PE fund and they will want regular distributions back to their investors as well.
  • Stable and highly cash generative business - The real estate business is highly cashflow generative and generated $22.6m in FY2016. By deducting commissions from sale proceeds at the close of transaction probably mean that bad debts are pretty low. Other than the intangible assets of $101m, the Company doesn't have a lot of leverage on its books remaining. In addition, buying and selling properties seemed to be Singaporean's favorite past time and this is unlikely to change
  • The Singapore Residential Market seemed to be turning around - While the cooling measures are still in place, the market seemed to have turned around. If the Company is able to maintain its market share of the transaction value, the profitability of the Company will be maintained as well
  • Presence of cornerstone investors  - The presence of FIL Investment Management (Fidelity) 15.2m shares, Qilin Asset Management (Family Office of Soilbuild Group) 12.12m shares, Asdew Acquisitions (Alan Wang) 6m shares and Azure Capital 6m (Fund managed by Terence Wong) bodes well for the issuance. While they collectively owns 11.1% of the float, they individually own less than 5% of the issuance, meaning they are not subject to any reporting should they sell the shares. My personal view is that they are likely to be longer term investors (i.e. hold for at least 6 to 12 months). The low free float of 16.5% means that the shares will be tightly controlled, which may be good for the issuance.

Some of my concerns
  • Heavily dependent and limited size of Singapore market  - while Singapore has been the crown jewel of ERA, the market size is limited unless it can continue to gain market share from its rivals. The consolidation in the market place is good for APAC as it will help make the market more professional and stabilise the commission by weeding out fly by night agents
  • Disruption by fintech companies - There are many fintech companies sitting at the sidelines waiting to disrupt the marketplace by providing better services,leveraging on technology, and lowering commissions. However, in my view, property business is at the end of the day, still a "people business". You will still need agents to facilitate the closing of a property transaction and companies such as propertyguru is probably one of the tools which agents leveraged on. 
  •  Government intervention - This is one area which is subject to heavy regulations by the government. Any new property measures to curb speculation will hurt the local market. The reverse is true though, whereby if the Government relaxes or removes any existing property measures, it will be a huge a boost to the Company
  • Future selling by Northstar - Northstar is a private equity firm with Indonesian roots that has since expanded to Singapore. It's recent activities included the de-listing of Innovalues from SGX. APAC is held by one of the Northstar Funds and the aim of PE fund is to eventually sell the Company for a profit. Northstar Fund will own 72% of the Company (assuming over-allotment is exercised) post IPO. They will continue to sell down the shares once the moratorium is over but I trust that they will continue to divest in a responsible manner. My own estimate is that based on current share price, they will be sitting at >1.6x money multiple on their original investment
  • Ease of competition - While the industry has undergone some consolidation, you can be assured that competitors will re-emerge when the market is hot again due to the ease of entry into the industry. My gut feel though is that the market will continue to be dominated by a few key players
  • High Per Share Issuance Price - The issuance price of 66 cents sometimes mean that retail participation may not be as vibrant. I would have preferred to see it priced at below 30c for the launch as you need some massive retail participation to see good price movements
My Fair Value

There are no listed peers on SGX, hence it is difficult to put a valuation benchmark. If the Company wants to maintain good market cap, they should lean towards being a dividend play and investors will learn to appreciate the Company better. A 50% payout ratio seemed reasonable and i wished they would keep it permanent. Investors will love this stock when that happens.

Assuming a valuation benchmark of 11-13x for FY2018 and based on my EPS of 6.7 Singapore cents, the fair value range will be from 74 cents to 87 cents.

My Chilli Ratings

I like the fact that the Company has a public tranche for retail investors, is paying out 50% of its net profit as dividend and that the property cycle seemed to be turning better in the next 1-2 years.The presence of cornerstone investors also bode well for the Company. I will give it a 2 chilli ratings for this IPO.

Happy IPOing

Please note that Mr. IPO is vested through the placement tranche.

Strawpoll - Vote now!


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr IPO,

I'm new to the shares investment fraternity and just started my investment journey. Your articles are the first that i learn my financial knowledge from. however, im confused with the terms earnings, returns, revenue and profits as they are almost the same in nature. i have search the internet but all give conflicting definition. some state earnings equal profits. some say returns equal profit. wonder if u can explain in layman terms from your guru knowledge?

Mr. IPO said...

Revenue means the sales generated by the businesses. Earnings, profits and returns are sometimes used interchangeably and is derived after deducting all the overheads, rental, salaries, depreciation, cost of producing the goods from the sales / revenues generated.

XM said...

Hi, your mention of a point is spot on: Disruption by fintech companies!

This is my main consideration to ignore the company current financial numbers and not to get vested in this IPO.

There will be more and more portals and apps linking buyers and sellers directly. It is very telling about the industry when Propnex, DW merged in June and OrangeTee, Edmund Tie formed a JV in Aug this year. What matters is not the number of agents an agency has. It is more important for the agency to come up with an innovative business model to compete in the fintech era.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr IPO,

Guru is always a guru. straight to the point instead of some beating round the bush definition by others. no wonder i was told that ur articles are some of the best i can learn from. will continue to learn from ur articles. pls put up more articles!! thx much!!!

Anonymous said...

Applied 51000 allocated 5000 :)

Anonymous said...

Applied 51000, allocated 5000 :D

Anonymous said...

Mr Ipo. After reading your analysis, I applied 100 lots and was given 8 lots. Thank u for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Seems like many who balloted got it..

Hope it opens above water tmr!

Mr Ipo any forecast in opening price?

Anonymous said...

Applied 10 lots, allocated 2. Huat ah!

Anonymous said...

Applied 100 lots last day but refund all back :-(

Anonymous said...

How to subscribe to your article?

Mr. IPO said...

Follow via Facebook is the best. If via email, you can click on the mail box icon on the top right corner of the blog on the main landing page (can't view it using the mobile version)

russ said...

Applied 20lots or even a single one !!😡

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