India’s Adani Wilmar Ltd. is an outlier among Asia’s newly listed stocks. The food company has almost tripled since its debut while most newcomers are trading under water. Shares in the firm, a joint venture between the group controlled by Asia’s richest person Gautam Adani and Singapore’s Wilmar International Ltd., have outperformed 121 Asian initial public offerings worth over $100 million this year. Almost two-thirds of the region’s new listings are in the red as rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine take a toll.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore and Nippon Life India were among investors in Adani Wilmar’s IPO, which makes Fortune brand cooking oils, wheat flour, rice, pulses, sugar and other food products. The firm said it would use part of the funds in the $486 million offering to expand facilities, repay loans and make strategic acquisitions.
The company is expected to “continue to gain market share on account of strong distribution network, diversified product portfolio, market leadership in key categories, focus on rural market, new product launches and strong parentage,” said Vikrant Kashyap, an analyst at KR Choksey.
The strong performance bodes well for Adani, one of Asia’s busiest dealmakers, who’s expanding his reach after years of focusing on coal and infrastructure-related plays. The tycoon’s move to diversify into new areas like data centers and digital services has paid off, after he capped a run of some 32 acquisitions in the past year.
The JV, which paid off debt with funds from the IPO, gets “significant benefit” from its parents, Kashyap wrote in a note this month, which recommended the stock as accumulate. Expected acquisitions will lead to a gain in market share, he added. The firm recently announced the purchase of several brands, including the Kohinoor cooking brand for the India region.
Other stocks linked to Adani have also done well. Adani Power Ltd., up more than 200% this year, is the top performer among members of the S&P BSE 500 index. Adani Green Energy Ltd., up 65% year-to-date, is the fifth-best performer even as the firm has no analyst coverage.