by SULHI KHALID / pic by ARIF KARTONO
BABA Eco Group Bhd, a gardening solution’s provider, made its debut on Bursa Malaysia Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) market with its share price rising 23% or three sen to 16 sen over its offer price of 13 sen per share.
At close, Baba Eco’s shares remained unchanged at 16 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM29 million.
The company raised RM3.58 million in gross proceeds from the issue of 40.6 million net shares to “sophisticated investors”.
Some RM1.5 million of the money is earmarked for capital expenditure and another RM800 million for the purchase of production equipment. Baba Eco ED Leong Jyahao said the group intends to broaden its market presence abroad and is looking at joint-venture partners in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.
“We want to enhance our research and development (R&D) activities and are targeting to offer more products in the future,” Leong told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Baba Eco aims to promote organic and landcare farming in a non-toxic and harmless environment, and its R&D is dedicated to develop and introduce new series of organic fertilisers and natural pesticides under the “Mr Ganick” brand for both the consumers and farmers markets.
Its eco-friendly products would not only protect the vegetables, but also safeguard consumer health, as well as the soil/earth.
Leong said the company plans to collaborate with local universities and agro-microbial companies in the R&D of competitive microbe strains.
Baba Eco’s manufacturing segment manufactures and trades in biodegradable flower pots, planting media and other plastic-injection-molding products.
The group has operations in Malaysia and Singapore, and it was founded in 1987 and based in Simpang Ampat, Penang.
Baba Eco posted pretax profit of RM7.59 million for the financial year 2018 (FY18) compared to RM4.29 million recorded in FY17. Revenue for FY18 was about RM28 million.
The group affirms it will distribute a total of 20% of its net profit as dividends.
The group intends to establish a physical presence in Thailand given its large network of home improvement centres and hypermarkets, and it has set aside RM500,000 to fund the overseas market expansion.
Baba Eco is the 10th initial public offering on the LEAP Market this year. There are now 22 companies listed on LEAP Market.