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Duckback plans maiden public issue

Our Bureau  |  Kolkata 

The maker of the 'Duckback' range of waterproofs, boots, bags and all-weather products is going public.
Bengal Waterproofs Ltd. (BWL), owner of Duckback, has plans for an by the end of 2005.
It is planning to raise around Rs 20 crore from the public offering, which will be used for mechanisation of the product process and for diversification into soft luggage. The company will invest Rs 40 crore for these activities by 2007.
The executive director of Bengal Waterproof, Amit Mukherjee, said the company has initiated discussion with two merchant bankers ICICI Securities and SBI Capital Markets for the IPO.
"The Duckback rainwear range will be expanded with new product categories, after 85 years. Out of Rs 40 crore investment, 50 per cent will come from internal accruals and the rest will be funded through IPO. The IPO is likely by the end of the current year," he said. BWL has a strong brand in the rainwear segment but demand was seasonal , admitted Mukherjee.
According to him, BWL expected over 50 per cent growth in sales to Rs 85 crore over the next two years after its diversification into goods like inflatable astrodomes and soft luggage. Bengal Waterproof registered a turnover of Rs 54 crore in the last financial year.
"Rubberised astrodomes have been developed for children who have no access to a planetarium. The inflatable astrodomes are transportable educational aid for astronomy lessons. Another major new product will be rollers coated with specialised rubber for use by the steel industry," he said.
According to Mukherjee, frontranking steel like Tisco, Jindal group and Sail were buying its industrial products.
BWL was open to joint ventures with foreign majors to goods like the offset rubber printers blankets, for which it was already in talks with Conti of the Continental group, Germany, and Cow of England, he added.
BWL may sign up with an Israel-based company to manufacture bullet proof vests, said Mukherjee. BWL has one manufacturing facility in Kolkata, and a wholly-owned subsidiary, Bihar Rubber Ltd, manufacturing occupational and safety footwear at Ranchi.
The existing Duckback 62-product range includes inflatable rubber boats, medical beds, baby mats, anti-gravity suits for pilots, oxygen masks, helicopter landing gear, school bags, industrial gumboots, camping gear, soft luggage, air pillows, raincoats etc.


First Published: Fri, April 08 2005. 00:00 IST