“Give a man a fish and you feed him a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Uncle Jet’s Fishing Journey is all about business, entrepreneurship, share investment and personal finance. Through Newswav, Uncle Jet hopes to share and learn together with all readers, creating a more financial-literate Malaysia together.
Journey 1: New Investor investing into your company? Yay or Nay?
Whether your company is currently (a) idealisation stage (b) startup (c) traditional growth stage company (d) matured company looking for exit, you will always encounter opportunities for third party investor to invest in your company.
If you are at idealisation stage, looking for your friends/families to invest in your idea. Make sure the expectations are set clearly in the beginning. If your partner is merely investing as a passive shareholder, don’t be upset when he/she is not contributing to the growth of the company while you are working your head off, sacrificing your social time, family time and health. If you are expected to run the show alone, make sure the compensation package is agreed in the first place, and built into the cost structure. You could also structure some form of sweat equity upon achieving certain KPIs.
Most of these friend/family funded companies will not have a Shareholder Agreement. When thing turns sour, remember not to do anything harmful to a friend/family/investor who trusted you in the beginning. You are responsible for your investor. If you have to resort to buying your investor out, make sure he/she will get his fair share of upside (if the company is doing well).
A good reputation goes a long way.
For most startups, the valuations are normally based on future prospects, rather than actual profitability.
At this stage, most valuations are crafted based on how much you want to raise in relation to how much equity you are willing to give. IE: if you willing to give out 10% of your equity, in change of RM1m, you are effectively valueing your company at RM10m.
However, this may not add up.
Even if the company may turn profitable in the future, the investor may not be able to reap good returns if the entry valuation is too demanding. If you expect your company to worth RM10m in 5 years, don’t ask your investor to invest at RM10m valuation today. It doesn’t justify for all the risks and hardwork, just to exit at his entry valuation 5 years later.
Most of the exit will be based on profitability ( rather than story telling ), unless you are selling to strategic buyers or your company is a unicorn with billion dollars revenue set to list on NASDAQ (on revenue multiple). The former, generally, knows what to do with your business and how your business can be integrated into the existing business verticals. Even then, the purchase price will also be based on traditional EV/EBITDA or PER ratio (but may be higher than typical financial investors). The latter can be far-fetched and is also proven to be unsustainable.
Don’t be delusional by all the deals happening around you (Company X has raised Y in its series A funding at USD Z valuation), you don’t know the actual details behind. Higher valuations may come with strings attached.
As a startup founder, be realistic with your valuations. Be genuine on your expectations and also be accountable to your projections. Make sure you have proper plan to achieve the promised projections.
If you are unable to attach a valuation to your company, one way to do it is to structure as a convertible loan, where the loan is convertible based on future performance (x% discount on future valuation).
It is pointless to have a good future prospects, without a good business model and cost structure generating cash flow and profitability. Your company is better off surviving on profitability and cash flow as compared to relying on fund raising. What if you are down with 3 months runaway, and your VC who has been supporting your growth strategies stopped funding you. I guarantee you will have sleepless nights, thinking about cutting OPEX, losing your company, your employees losing job, etc.
If you have raised your fund, work towards the projections you promised to your investors while looking closely to your cost budget. You can still grow your company while maintaining a healthy EBITDA! If you have to raise funds, raise it early. It normally takes 6-12 months to close a deal (sourcing, negotiation, due diligence, legal drafting and closing).
If you are the lucky fews, currently preparing to exit your existing established and profitable business, be realistic on your valuations and most importantly, start to adopt an exit mindset.
When you are exiting your business, your buyer will normally require you to stay as a minority founder for atleast 2-3 years (unless it is a strategic buyer). It may be hard because you have been your own boss for your whole life. Suddenly, you are required to do monthly reporting and also reporting to the new shareholders (whose representatives may be younger and less experienced than you).
If you are left with minority stake in the company, respect the exit terms, be genuine and work together with your new shareholder toward the final exit/pay-day on your minority portion.
If you have exited completely, (good job!) respect the exit terms and work on the knowledge transfer while enjoying your big pay day!
Again, a good reputation goes a long way!
Above all, all companies with multiple shareholders should always have a Shareholder Agreement. You can get it at less than RM10k for a simple one. It is essential in protecting the interest as a founder, as well as the minority shareholders. Under normal circumstances, the Shareholder Agreement is practically a piece of paper kept in your drawer. It becomes important when thing turns sour.
A good Shareholder Agreement should always include reserved matters, exit options, pre-emptive rights, right of first refusals, liquidation preference, tag-along, drag-along, priority-rights, veto-rights (if any), etc.
An example: if you and your shareholders are exiting your company, your minority shareholders are comfortable with the exit price, but you, on the other hand, think your company is worth much more. You want to negotiate and you are ready to walk away from the deal if you don’t get the price you want, but your partner wants the current price, without jeopardising the deal on the table. This may result in a potential deadlock. A good Shareholder Agreement can mitigate this.
If you do not existing have an Shareholder Agreement, and if your financial permits, get it done.
If you already have one, I hope that you will never have to bring it out, until you are selling majority of your company for a big buck!
Lim Jet Liang is currently with 5X Capital, a Securities Commission licensed Private Equity Fund based in Malaysia.
Dreaming of a home in a green lung that’s also next to modern conveniences? Well, dream no more as it is a reality made affordable with Mitraland’s 3xtra Big Deals campaign!
This super-savers campaign by Mitraland Group is for its projects in Klang South and Melawati. The campaign offers:
1xtra deal: flash rebates for limited units for a limited time only
2xtra deal: free 12 months of maintenance fee and pay nothing up to 12 months after booking*
3xtra deal: savings from the Home Ownership Campaign 2020 (HOC 2020)
Under HOC 2020, buyers enjoy full stamp duty exemption on the Instrument of Transfer for properties up to RM1 million, and a partial stamp duty exemption (3%) for those priced between RM1 million to RM2.5 million. HOC 2020 guarantees you a 10% discount off the purchasing price. On top of that, the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR)has been slashed even further to 1.75% – this means a lower loan interest rate!
Upperville @ Melawati gives you the best of both worlds – greenery and convenience – being merely 15km from KL City Centre. It sits next to Mitraland’s award winning 16 Quartz development with the majestic Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (a proposed UNESCO Heritage site) as its backdrop.
Low density within an exclusive and mature neighbourhood, Upperville has easy access to 4 highways and top amenities (hospitals, international schools, malls and LRT) within 10km. From RM2,700 a month, each 1,050 sq ft unit comes with 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 parking lots!
Gravit8 @ Klang South on the other hand offers a self-contained community with residences, retail and office components. Its FREEHOLD condominium units are nestled within an iconic 8-acre Lakepark. Convenience stores and restaurants are just a short stroll away.
Residents of Gravit8 are spoiled by a 3-acre facility deck. Its swimming pool offers the best sunset view in Klang South, a multipurpose hall, gymnasium, games room and more. From RM2,000 a month, units are available from 2+1 Bed onwards and ranging from 871 sq ft to 1,237 sq ft.
As a fully integrated development, Gravit8 is also super connected. Located along the Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS) and close to the Federal Highway, it can be accessed via over 7 highways.
Keen buyers should take action now as the campaign is for a limited number of units within a limited period only. And the cherry on the icing: 10-gram gold bars* are up for grabs in the month of November!
Listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, Kanger International Berhad (KANGER, 0170) is on track to becoming the world’s largest producer of bamboo products. They have recently collaborated with the local government of Jingzhou, Hunan Province in China, and together, they have launched a new high-tech bamboo processing plant, as well as a new R&D centre. This has given the already experienced Kanger a huge boost, who has been involved in the bamboo processing business over the past 16 years.
Strengthening capabilities as an integrated upstream and downstream bamboo producer
Along with the relocation of their main bamboo processing plant, Kanger entered a Public Private Partnership arrangement on a 70:30 basis with the local Jingzhou Government to develop a new bamboo processing plant and R&D centre that adopts the latest modern processing methods capable of processing raw bamboo into a wide variety of products. The new plant was built at a total investment cost of CNY200 million (RM121 million).
Kanger Executive Director, Mr. Kuah Choon Ching stated, “Armed with the support from our strategic partner, the local government of Jingzhou, we are in a strong position to significantly upscale our bamboo processing business to become one of the world’s largest integrated bamboo producers in the world with both upstream (plantation) and downstream (processing, manufacturing and distribution) capabilities.”
Mr. Kuah also noted the major advantage of relocating their bamboo plant to Jingzhou would be the ready availability of raw bamboo in the region. The partnership would inject a bamboo plantation concession totalling an estimated 20,833 acres over three phases. By being less reliant on external supply sources in producing bamboo products, this would prevent them from facing problems such as supply shortages and sudden price hikes which could have material effects on the cost of raw material and profitability.
Under phase one, a surrounding area of approximately 6,000 acres of fully mature bamboo has been made available. Under phase one alone, a surrounding area of approximately 6,000 acres of fully mature bamboo has been made available. The Group estimates that it will take up to three years to utilize all of the ready-to-harvest raw bamboo that is processed into bamboo flooring, furniture and building materials. It is expected to potentially generate a total revenue of CNY 800 million (RM486 million) over the three year period. This is based on the average selling price of bamboo flooring which typically ranges between CNY300 to CNY500 per square meter (m2). In addition, as Kanger does not need to purchase raw bamboo from external sources, this translates to a cost savings of more than CNY 300 million (RM182 million) for the equivalent amount of raw bamboo available.
Attractive industry prospects
Market research estimates that the value of the global bamboo market stood at USD 68.8 billion in 2018, which experts expect to continue growing in the coming years. Worldwide, bamboo is quickly building a reputation as a sustainable building material source and a “greener” substitute for wood-based products.
In addition, bamboo can also be processed into bamboo fibre to be used in clothing materials as well as bamboo charcoal that can be added into food products to remove body toxins. Bamboo for medicinal purposes is gaining popularity as it offers health benefits that aid in digestion, spiritual healing, promote mental alertness, and can be used to treat depression and respiratory diseases, among others.
Moving forward, the Group will focus not only on manufacturing of bamboo products but also processing of bamboo related foodstuff and bamboo eco-tourism. This will attract more tourists to Jingzhou and encourage the setting up of more bamboo related businesses amongst the villagers.
Future plans to build a resilient business model
• Import and sale of lamination flooring products from Germany
In 2018, the Group secured the exclusive distributorship in China for the “CLASSEN” brand of laminated hardwood flooring from Classen GmbH, Germany. Coupled with the rising brand acceptance of “CLASSEN” in China, Kanger was recently presented with the Excellence Award for Best Supplier to the Chinese Bed & Breakfast Industry at the 2019 International B&B Industry Development Forum and the 2019-2020 “Illustrious Brand” award by the China Renovation & Construction Alliance. Sales of “CLASSEN” products have proved to be a good source of revenue to the Group whilst it scaled down its production of in-house bamboo products to make way for the relocation exercise of the bamboo plant.
• Large distribution network to support sale of in-house and third party products
To enhance the distribution network of the Group’s in-house as well as third party products, they signed distributorships with third party dealers across China. Currently, the Group has established a large distribution network which comprises of more than 100 dealer stores across China.
The Group is also working closely with its dealers in implementing effective Online-to-Offline marketing and delivery channels, via a number of online platforms, including JD.com, Alibaba’s Taobao, and WeChat. To grow the export market, Kanger will be opening new international showrooms throughout Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America.
• Secured long-term recurring lease rental income
The relocation of the bamboo processing and manufacturing operations from Ganzhou to Jingzhou freed up land for the Group to embark on commercial property development for long-term rental income. The land where the previous plant was located, Kanger has constructed two commercial buildings with a total net lettable area of 683,777 sq. ft. The Group has signed 10-year agreements to lease these buildings for RM11.1 million a year.
One of the buildings is a purpose-built 6-storey “AutoCity”, it is an integrated complex, enabling customers to view and buy cars, accessories and automotive parts from major brands. Car buyers will also be able to enjoy comprehensive after-sales, financing, and auto insurance services there.
The second building is a 19-storey hotel leased to Ganzhou Fuying Kaili Hotel Management Co. Ltd, the operator of Kyriad Marvelous Hotel, an international business hotel brand under the Louvre Hotel Group. With a total of 2,653 hotels across 54 countries worldwide, Louvre Hotel Group is the second largest hotel group in Europe and fifth largest in the world.
• Plans to establish new revenue streams in Malaysia
Backed by a healthy operating cash flow generated by its China operations, the Group has set its sights on establishing new revenue streams in Malaysia. Kanger recently purchased a parcel of land measuring 5.5 acres in Kuala Selangor for RM6.8 million. They are actively looking out for strategic opportunities with attractive prospects for the Group to invest in.
Commitment in delivering long-term shareholder value
Mr. Kuah Choon Ching (柯俊敬) concluded, “With the commencement of our new high-tech bamboo processing plant in the fourth quarter of 2020, our financial performance in the coming year will be significantly enhanced by the contributions from the production and sale of our in-house bamboo products.”
“Looking ahead, we are confident that demand for bamboo will see exponential growth driven by its increasing use as a sustainable material for construction and rising consumer awareness on the benefits of bamboo. In addition, the R&D centre at the new bamboo processing plant will be utilised to pursue opportunities with regards to modern bamboo products and uses.”
“Meanwhile, our business is also enhanced by the lease income from our two commercial properties which will provide recurring income to the Group, thus enhancing our income visibility.”