On Thursday, Mrs Bectors Food Specialties made a stunning IPO debut, listing at a more than 70 percent stellar premium and soon doubling afterwards. The biscuit maker’s shares were valued at Rs. 500, a premium of 73.61 over its issue price of Rs. 288 per share. In contrast to the issue price of Rs. 288, the shares opened at Rs. 501, higher by Rs. 213 or 74 percent on the BSE and at Rs. 500, a 73.61 percent premium on the National Stock Exchange. The shares soon doubled after that, and the shares were trading at Rs. 571.90 at 11:30 am, up 98.61 percent on the BSE.
In the calendar year 2020, Mrs Bectors Food Specialties’ 540.54 crores maiden initial public offering (IPO) had the highest subscription among IPOs. The IPO was accepted 198.02 times, endorsed by a clear reaction from all investors. Between December 15 and December 17, the primary market offering was opened and the shares were issued for 286-288 per share.
The initial public issue of the manufacturer of the baking goods consisted of a new issue of Rs. 40.54 crore and a bid by existing shareholders for the sale of Rs. 500 crore.
Bids for 2,62,10,42,200 shares were issued for the issue, which was 198.02 times the issue size of 1,32,36,211 shares. A Bid for Sale (OFS) of Rs 500 crore and a new issue of Rs 40.5 crore is part of the IPO.
In terms of the number of times it has been subscribed, it is also the third most subscribed IPO ever. Astron Board & Paper Mill’s about Rs 70 crore IPO, which was subscribed 240.50 times, Prime Database data said, was the last IPO that beat such a robust response in those terms.
Under the flagship brand, ‘Mrs Bector’s Cremica’, Mrs Bectors Food Specialties manufactures biscuits such as cookies, creams, crackers, digestives and glucose. It also produces and markets bakery products under the ‘English Oven’ brand such as bread, buns, pizza base, and cakes.
Story Behind Mrs Bectors
In 1976, Mrs Rajini Bector started making ice creams at her house in Ludhiana with a hand churner. The initial reaction prompted her to purchase an oven that then cost Rs 300.
Her husband, Dharamvir, became her first investor two years later, giving her a capital of Rs 20,000, which helped her start a full-fledged bakery company.
Mrs Bectors Foods, which today sells Cremica biscuits and bakery goods under the English Oven name, became this fledgeling company. It’s also the biggest supplier of chains including Burger King, McDonald’s and Dominos Pizza buns/bread.
Cremica Group has been providing McDonald’s – its main business partner – with buns, ketchup and toppings since 1996. It has also collaborated with ITC of Cadbury and EBI Foods, a company based in the UK.
The Cremica Group entered into 50:50 joint ventures with the US business Quaker Oats, a fortune 200. A new company, Quaker Cremica Foods (P) Ltd., was set up to manufacture liquid products such as tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, tartar & sandwich spreads, milkshake syrups and ice cream toppings, primarily in India and neighbouring countries for Mc Donald’s requirements.
The Quaker Oats relationship couldn’t last long. In 1999, Quaker Oats, Cremica’s liquid condiment manufacturing partner, withdrew from the joint venture. The name of the company was changed to Mrs Bector Food Specialities (P) Ltd. from Quaker Cremica Foods (P) Ltd. Cremica Group reacted by becoming a public limited company in 2001 after the split.
With all his 3 sons joining the company, what started as a fun business turned professional and ambitious.
The basic strategy for Cremica Group has been to ensure consistency in quality. In a high tomato prices scenario, several companies decreased the content of tomato paste in tomato ketchup, while Cremica Group stayed consistent with the percentage of its ingredients. The amount of tomato paste developed by HUL in Kissan Fresh Tomato Ketchup fell from 28 percent to 22.5 percent, and from 28.1 percent to 26.7 percent in Nestle India’s Maggi Rich Tomato Ketchup. Tomato paste content has not decreased in brands such as Del Monte (29 percent) and Heinz (26 percent) and Indian brands such as Cremica (34.5 percent) and Safal (35 percent).
In 2013, the company was split evenly between the three sons of Mrs Bector’s Food’s founder, Rajni Bector, Ajay, Anoop and Akshay Bector. An agreement was settled in which the biscuits and baking company were split from the business of condiments.
Story of Mrs Bectors & its IPO is a story of underdog reaping success in a market full of international players and companies with deep pockets.