Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kathmandu IPO: Prospectus Analysis

I was right about this one, took about 2 years longer to come unstuck but come unstuck it did.

Will it work with a new person? Well out of all the retailers in this part of the world id give Rod Duke 50/50.

Hes getting the company for what its worth by the way.


Right from the get go the Kathmandu IPO Prospectus (Requires free registration at Share Investor Forum to download ) is all about the flash, the sheen, the image and impact of the Kathmandu brand - at first glance the document looks more like a catalogue for their product rather than a prospectus - and to be sure the brand is part of what the present owners are selling and it is a great loyally followed brand but what of the bones, the inside, the guts of the company, how are they selling prospective investors that?

Well in short the present sellers are not telling investors the full story. Pro Forma figures - figures based on an "as if" scenario rather than reality - are used throughout the document.

Pro-forma figures do not show investors the true state of a companies books and this alone should have prospective investors running for the hills (without a Kathmandu backpack).

I will go on however.

For example pro forma sales figures from 2007 and 2009 indicate that in 2007 Kathmandu sales were $A151.4 million and in 2009 A$215 million and respective store numbers were 58 and 82. That works out roughly the same level of sales per store for each of these years. Very hard to get this sort of consistency in any sector of the economy, least the retail industry. These particular figures have clearly been manipulated or "smoothed" to make things look good and we can safely assume this for other comparisons made. This makes the figures misleading to say the very least.

It is pointless to make any further comment about the prospectus' other figures or comparisons used except to say they cannot be trusted.

Some more key points but they rank in far less import for potential investors than do the inclusion of pro forma figures to make comparisons year to year to sell the company.

1. management are more than halving their stake - not alot of faith there in the company and they are insiders!

2. $85 million in debt to be paid off - not a high figure considering indications that debt in July 2008 was more than double that.

3. IPO costs of more than $15 million, far too high.

4. Investors will not know how much their application for shares will cost them until after the IPO has closed. At NZ$2.01 - $2.32 per share a large range in price exists.

5. A major emphasis throughout the prospectus on growth through increases in store numbers - an expensive way to grow and to be fueled by more company debt or perhaps additional capital raising from shareholders.

6. Omitting financing costs and essential financial data like historical NPAT.

I was skeptical of the Kathmandu IPO before perusing the prospectus but after reading it I have come to the conclusion that this IPO is a complete and utter stinker.

Too much emphasis is on the media grabbing sexy Kathmandu brand and not enough on what is important when an investor needs to make a wise decision - full, frank and accurate financial statements and not pro forma monopoly style accounts that are only fit to wipe your bum with.

I am appalled at the gall of the present owners, the accounting firm signing off on pro-forma accounts and the NZX for allowing this kind of bullshit and calling it sufficient disclosure pre-IPO.

I could be wrong and this IPO could be the best listing since Coca Cola but investors cannot tell that from reading disclosures in the prospectus with accuracy what sort of condition Kathmandu the company is in - why are the present owners playing shell games with investors one would have to ask?

If you sink your money into this one you deserve to lose it.


Related Share Investor Reading


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Kathmandu @ Share Investor

Kathmandu IPO: Jan Cameron lands a blow to IPO

Kathmandu IPO: What is it worth?
Kathmandu IPO: Retail Interest HighKathmandu IPO: A tough mountain to climb
Kathmandu No.1 but IPO should get the Bullet
Download the detailed Kathmandu Value Cruncher Report - Requires free registration at Share Investor Forum to download
Download Kathmandu IPO Prospectus

Discuss Kathmandu at Share Investor Forum

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c Share Investor 2009