UPL-Arysta LifeScience deal: What is in for UPL?
Jul. 27, 2018
UPL has signed a definitive agreement with Platform Specialty Products Corporation to acquire Arysta LifeScience for USD 4.2 billion (c. Rs 28500 crore). Investor William Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management owns 14 percent in the Platform Specialty Products Corp, the parent of Arysta LifeScience.
Arysta LifeScience is an agrochemical player with a product portfolio comprising of chemicals to protect crops from weeds, insects and diseases. It was built through the $3.5 billion acquisition of Arysta in 2015, the $1 billion takeover of CAS in 2014 and the $370 million purchase of Agriphar in 2014.
How will the deal be financed?
The deal will be financed through a mix of debt and equity with 1.2 billion in equity and 3 billion in debt. UPL Corporation, the international arm of UPL has collaborated with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and TPG (a global alternative asset firm) who will infuse USD 600 million (c. Rs 4140 crore) each for a 22 percent stake in UPL Corp. The remaining USD 3 billion (c. Rs 20,700 crore) is planned to be financed via debt from Rabo Bank and MUFG Bank.
What is in for UPL
Economies of scale
The combined entity would be the fifth largest agrochemical company in the world, which would help in bringing economies of scale in both manufacturing and marketing and according to the management this would facilitate substantial cost savings in the future. The management expects the acquisition to bring in EPS accretion of around Rs 10 – 12 by FY20.
Marketing expertise and complementing geographies
The acquisition brings in benefits of forward integration. Arysta will bring in marketing specialization which would help UPL market its own products globally. Both UPL and Arysta have complementing geographies and with UPLs specialization in manufacturing and Arytas marketing expertise the combined entity would be able to gain market share rapidly across regions and help strengthen its footprint. Moreover, the deal would give UPL greater exposure to Africa, China, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Complementing product Mix
Both companies have a complementary product portfolio. Arysta brings in expertise in specialty molecules where UPL is relatively weak. This would facilitate the combined entity to possess an aggressive product portfolio of more than 13000 product registrations and extensively covering the agrochemical space.
Though the acquisition alters the capital structure substantially, it also pushes UPL in the global big leagues, the benefits of which would help in improving overall margins for the company in the longer run. We expect some near-term uncertainty and returns might get impacted. However, given the synergies, the deal seems a favourable one in the longer run.