Whilst CFS has access to key feedstock through its Italian facility (Dahej plant start-up should boost integration further), focus is now on expanding presence in downstream products.
Camlin Fine Sciences (CFS) offers food/feed chemicals (through antioxidants and aroma chemicals) for both human and animal consumption. It is the global leader in less specialized antioxidants (TBHQ/BHA) and holds one-third of the synthetic vanillin market. Raw material overlap is fairly high with portfolio also extending to performance chemicals. Whilst CFS has access to key feedstock through its Italian facility (Dahej plant start-up should boost integration further), focus is now on expanding presence in downstream products.
Share price returns are dependent on PAT turnaround as current valuations are not meaningful (9MFY18 loss: ~Rs 265mn). Earnings inflection is contingent on increasing scale (especially in Brazil/China), aided by process development capabilities (eg, environment friendly unique process of making vanillin). Execution is a key risk, but the promoters have a very credible track record, especially over FY08-15. Hydroquinone (HQ) and Catechol (CAT) are key raw materials for CFS. Suppliers are limited (7-10) with instances of short supply in the past (especially in HQ).Hence, acquisition of European HQ/CAT facility in 2011 provides strategic advantage.
Unique integrated capabilities ensure feedstock supply and lower position on cost-curve (gross margins/RoIC expanded by 17ppt over FY11-15). Post backward integrating, reliance on acquisitions to augment global presence/offerings has continued. Acquiring set-ups in Mexico/China in FY17/18 for $8mn/$6mn (76% of cumulative FY15/16 CFO) helped CFS in forward integration. Underlying theme behind acquisitions: (i) new geographies/products; and (ii) leveraging strategic assets (such as backward integrated capabilities) as a means to achieve soft diversification.
CFS was largely into TBHQ/BHA markets with 50% share in 2016.