Anti-corrosion coating firm seeks to raise $4.3m in IPO

AGV, founded in 2012 by Mr Albert Ang (left) and his brother James, saw revenue grow from $15.3 million in 2013 to $18.8 million last year. It specialises in hot-dip galvanising, which makes iron or steel resistant to corrosion for 20 to 50 years.
AGV, founded in 2012 by Mr Albert Ang (left) and his brother James, saw revenue grow from $15.3 million in 2013 to $18.8 million last year. It specialises in hot-dip galvanising, which makes iron or steel resistant to corrosion for 20 to 50 years.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

A home-grown firm which makes a product that is "everywhere" but rarely noticed is going public.

Anti-corrosion coating firm AGV Group yesterday launched its initial public offering ahead of a listing on the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) Catalist board.

It is offering 26.92 million shares at 22 cents a share via a placement that aims to raise around $4.3 million in net proceeds. The placement will close at 12 noon next Wednesday, with the listing and share trading expected to start at 9am next Friday. No shares are being offered to the public in the IPO.

AGV is one of only five companies here that specialise in hot-dip galvanising, a zinc-coating process that renders iron or steel resistant to corrosion for 20 to 50 years depending on the environment.

In Singapore, the application of hot-dip galvanising can be found "everywhere", co-founder and chief executive Albert Ang said.

"It's used to coat steel works for HDB linkways and lifts, for lamp posts and drain covers by the road... just to name a few. It is more sustainable than traditional methods such as painting," he said yesterday.

One of AGV's recent big projects was to coat the 24km fencing surrounding Changi Airport, he added.

AGV - founded in 2012 by Mr Ang and his brother James - saw revenue grow from $15.3 million in 2013 to $18.8 million last year, while net profit rose from $1.4 million to $2.2 million in the same period.

Mr Ang is confident of the company's prospects, citing major infrastructure projects in Singapore and Malaysia as its opportunities to shine.

These include Rapid, Petronas' plan to build a petrochemical complex in Johor, and the phase 2 works of Singapore's deep tunnel sewerage system.

AGV has a plant here and about 150 staff. It also has a 36 per cent stake in a holding firm that owns 51 per cent of an associate hot-dip galvanising business in Johor.

One of the key goals for AGV's listing is to raise funds to fully acquire the holding firm, Mr Ang said.

AGV's listing followed the debut of Wong Fong Industries on the Catalist board late last month, and China JinJiang Environment on the mainboard earlier this month.

The SGX has seen a healthier IPO pipeline this year, with 14 primary listings since the start of this year, compared with a total of 13 listings in the whole of last year.


Correction: An earlier version of the story stated that AGV's recent projects included coating the 34km fencing surrounding Changi Airport. The fencing should be 24km long instead. This has been corrected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'Anti-corrosion coating firm seeks to raise $4.3m in IPO'. Print Edition | Subscribe