Fine Organics - Niche Player in Specialty Chemical

Incorporated in 2002, Fine Organic Industries Limited is a company engaged in manufacturing of oleochemical-based additives (Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from plant and animal fats. They are analogous to petrochemicals derived from petroleum). The company produces a wide range of specialty plant derived oleochemicals-based additives used in the food, plastic, cosmetics, paint, ink, coatings and other specialty application in various industries sold under the 'Fine Organics’ brand.

FOIL is the largest manufacturer of oleochemicals-based additives in India and a strong player globally in this industry. It has 631 direct customers and 127 distributors from 69 countries. The company has a well-diversified and reputed customer base. In the petrochemical segment, FOIL caters to companies like Reliance Industries Limited, GAIL, Haldia Petrochemicals Limited, SABIC (Saudi Arabia), Petronas (Malaysia), Braskem (Brazil), Petkim (Turkey), Quapco (Qatar), Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemicals, etc. Further, in the foods segment, the company supplies its products to companies like HUL, Mondelez, Coca Cola, Britannia, Parle, etc. No customer accounts for more than 5% of the overall sales.

Specialised products and business model:
Manufacturing additives from base oleochemicals is a highly complex process as it involves technical know-how and R&D for product innovationwhich makes specialty and formulated products difficult to replicate. This provides it with a significant advantage over new entrants, as they would need to invest a great deal of resources to gain a foothold in the markets.

Industry is largely Oligopolistic in nature:
Presence of Multiple entry-barriers such as product formulations, process technology and customer stickiness to established players. All the established players are enjoying their first-mover advantages. For an entry into this industry, new players won’t be able to procure product formulations and process technology from established players, which are reluctant to share their technology and other intellectual properties.

Strong R&D capability with a focus on innovation:
FOIL has created new additives and downstream products, such as Acetem, Datem, and Lactem. It is in the process of developing a downstream product called Citrem, which is a hydrophilic (attracted to water molecules and water-soluble) emulsifier used in the confectionary industry. R&D efforts are driven by customer needs, in terms of meeting specific needs that its direct customers communicate to the company prior to us manufacturing its products. Since 2014, contribution of new products developed through R&D was 0.02%, 0.13%, 0.74% and 1.13% of sales respectively.

Strong Financial Track Record with continued improvement in operating performance:

Rs.Crs FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 9MFY18 CAGR
Revenues 496 568 616 658 786 585 9.5%
EBITDA 52 116 118 155 150 116 24.5%
EBITDA margins 10.4% 20.4% 19.1% 23.5% 19.1% 19.8%
EBIT 40 105 95 125 126 101 27.3%
EBIT margins 8.1% 18.5% 15.4% 18.9% 16.0% 17.3%
CFO 49 3 79 113 52 69 13.5%
PAT 21 63 59 77 79 63 31.9%
EPS 7 22 20 25 26 27 38.0%
Rs.Cr FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 9MFY18
Net debt 93.5 98.3 92.9 55.4 26.0 9.5
Capital Employed 165.4 248.1 251.9 310.1 314.4 372.9
ROCE 24.4% 42.4% 37.8% 40.2% 40.1% 36.2%

Operating performance reported by the company has been robust driven by the successful commissioning of its new manufacturing lines coupled with healthy demand indicators for its products in the domestic and export markets. Further, debt has reduced consistently over the last few years and a large part of the company’s current debt includes unsecured promoter loans. With efficient supply chain management, FOIL consistently has exhibited a good ROCE level since past many years.

Expansion of production facilities and strategic JV tie-ups to augur next phase of growth:

FOIL currently has three production facilities: one in Ambernath (Maharashtra/ Plant 1); one in Badlapur (Maharashtra); and one in Dombivli (Maharashtra). The company also manufactures some of its products on contract basis through its group companies at its second facility in Ambernath (to be taken over by FY18 end).

a) FOIL is currently planning to set up an additional production facility in Ambernath (plant 3) with a planned installed capacity of 32,000 tonnes per annum funding through 2.3:1 Debt/Equity mix.

b) Patalganga and Ambernath Plant 4 – Preliminary Stages of Planning:
i) The Patalganga Facility will have a planned initial installed capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum for additive products. FOIL has not yet decided on a date of commencement of operation for this facility. The estimated cost of setting up the Patalganga Facility is Rs. 50crs .
ii) In December 2013, FOIL paid Rs.24.2crs for a plot of land on which it plans to build its Fourth Ambernath Facility. This will be capable of manufacturing additives for food, plastic, cosmetics and other specialty additives. (Capacity details currently not decided).

C) Fine Zeelandia Facility:
Fine Zeelandia Private Limited is a 50:50 joint-venture between FOIL and Zeelandia International Holdings B.V.’s, a Dutch company which distributes range of premixes for bakery and confectionary products and pan release agents in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, but does not currently manufacture these products. The Fine Zeelandia Facility will produce premixes for bakery and confectionary products and pan release agents. The Fine Zeelandia Facility’s initial installed production capacity will be 10,000 tonnes per annum the estimated cost of the Fine Zeelandia Facility is Rs.60 crs to be funded in debt-equity ratio of 1.7:1 (FOIL’s equity share being Rs.11.3crs and rest investments by Zeelandia).

D) Fineadd Facility:
FineAdd is JV with Adcotec, to own and operate plant in in Leipzig, Germany. FOIL plans to manufacture specialty food emulsifiers and other food additives at the German Facility to be sold to direct customers and distributors in Europe. FOIL expects the German Facility to commence operation by the third quarter of Fiscal 2020 and it has a planned initial installed capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum. The financing arrangements for the German Facility have not been finalized yet.

Experienced management team with technical know-how:
FOIL is led by Prakash Damodar Kamat, the co-founder and Chairman, who has more than 4 decades’ experience in the oleochemical-based additives sector. Further academic credentials from UICT Mumbai also give comfort in promoters who are technocrats and have the know-how in the oldeochemicals industry.

Key Risk:

a) Largely fixed nature of contracts (albeit LT in nature) exposing companies to volatility in RM prices

Primary raw materials are derived from vegetable oils, including rapeseed oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil. The company enters into ST contract arrangements with its suppliers (<6 months) which exposes it to RM volatility risks. Further, most of the contracts FOIL has with its customers are LT in nature but are albeit fixed in nature (ie. Lumpsum contracts and without any minimum offtake arrangement). They also contain a meet or release’ provision, i.e., a provision pursuant to which a purchaser may terminate the agreement if FOIL does not agree to meet any lower offers that the purchaser receives from other suppliers which could also result in cash flow volatility.

b) Supplier concentration risks:
Heavy reliance on few suppliers which can indicate stringent payment terms and limited bargaining power also prone to risks of steady supply of procurements.


The company claims to be amongst the few suppliers for its products globally.



At current multiples of ~ 17x stock is neither expensive nor too cheap. However with growing applications for FOIL products and with new capacities coming on stream in next few years expecting valuations to improve.

Additional references:

Oleochemicals.pdf (155.9 KB) (Source: Broker Reports)

Investor-Presentation-30-Jul-17.pdf (537.5 KB) (Source: Investor Presentation Fairchem Speciality Chemicals)

Views Invited
Disclaimer: Invested. These are purely my investment strategies and not a general recommendation of buy or sell. Please do your research before investing. All company references taken from DRHP.


Is there any impact on company due to plastic ban .

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Some of the products enlisted here have mentions of FOIL as a key player…





Though the report is quite old(2012 release), management’s inability to provide adequate information to a rating agency would still stand suspicious.


Please refer the latest report from ICRA.

183c50d7-8655-4e1a-8164-697aa99912c0.pdf (1.6 MB)

Very good 1Q numbers…although Q-o-Q numbers were lower (need to check if seasonality or lumpiness of order is the cause…)

Interesting to know is yearly growth has been achieved without capacity expansion which is currently being lined up…

Latest investor presentation
3e0d940e-f1ee-405b-87f6-e214f2491fa8 (1).pdf (2.5 MB)

The story appears impressive on the outside. Read the annual report and got a shock. The company pays 11.4% of profit as salary to its 5 top executives, most of whom are related and appears excessive as 5% is the norm. The subsidiaries of the company are loss making and still the company is making fresh joint ventures, amalgamating more subsidiaries, including a subsidiary whose entire factory was destroyed by fire. There is an abnormal increase in receivables by 30% (36 crore) against increase in sales of 6% (45 crore) which indicates that the current year was not as rosy as projected. Perhaps the company had come out with a public issue, after staying for decades as a private company for this purpose? This strengthens my conviction to look skeptically at new listings. Not investing on account of the above.


The stock has been rising and rising from its listing and is near to its 52WK high in current market situation giving a whopping 50% returns from listing price. The financials looks good.
@hitesh2710 Any views on this?

Rating update from ICRA

Q3 & 9M results FY19:


Fine Organics – Niche products, niche valuations; Initiating, with a Hold.pdf (745.1 KB)

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An analyst’s note on Fine Organic

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Result is published: Sept2019.pdf (2.0 MB).
Very good result

Yes. Really good results by Fine. But I didn’t understand the near 3 fold increase in Property, Plant & Equipments. Attaching the image below.
Can someone elaborate please?


As they have completed a capacity expansion of 32000 tonnes per annum. Earlier it was 69000 per annum.

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As per BSE record, Fine organic would like to inform that the officials of the Company will be interacting with Investors and Analyst on November 18, 2019, November 19, 2019 and November 20, 2019. (fine_org.pdf (398.6 KB) ).

Is there any opportunity here?

ICRA has upgraded its credit rating: