In May 2014, trading began on the shares issued by the company Pivovary Lobkowicz Group, a.s., (PLG) on the Prime Market of the Prague Stock Exchange. The market capitalization of the share issue on the first day of trading reached CZK 1.87 billion.
PLG is the fourth biggest Czech brewery group by local sales, and fifth in terms of overall production. It is made up of seven regional breweries (Protivín, Uherský Brod, Jihlava, Rychtář, Klášter, Vysoký Chlumec and Černá Hora) which are centrally managed at their locations in Bohemia and Moravia Their brewing history reaches back to the middle ages, and the oldest of them was founded in 1298.
After preparing the group for a private subscription, the client found themselves in a position which they and their advisers assessed as being ideal for a public offer. Besides the economic and organizational factors, also weighed up in the decision was the very positive feedback received from qualified institutional investors.
The primary motive of the client was to amass funds from the sale of new shares to win new customers in the hotel and restaurant trade, to acquire a mid-sized brewery with an annual production volume of 80-100 thousand hectolitres of beer, and to increase its exports to the key markets of Russia/CIS and Slovakia.
Thus the client was hoping for and counting on the interest of institutional investors. Accordingly, PLG was interested in presenting the consolidated and audited results of the group in a manner consistent with IFRS. This type of reporting is, on one hand, comprehensible for international investors, and on the other it emphasizes the value of the business for stakeholders.
A team of auditors set about the task by first converting the financial statements of individual companies from CZ GAAP into IFRS; these statements were then consolidated at the level of PLG holding. The prepared data was then subject to an independent audit. This approach was, in certain key respects, more constructive: the composition of team members gave rise to a more suitable array of specialist skills than was the case with the existing auditors. We can safely say that the overwhelming majority (90-95%) of the financial part of the issuer’s prospectus was prepared by our team of auditors.
During the job it became clear - as it does in many other projects - that communication and co-ordination of the delivery of key information was, at the very least, of equal importance as the information and materials themselves. In some cases, the launch was delayed by several weeks. Despite the sub-optimal nature of the co-operation with some of the client’s external advisers, by proactively managing the financial and auditing parts of the project and thanks to regular contact with company management and shareholders, it was possible to eliminate the effects of these delays when it came to finishing the project. In the process of realizing this order, other tasks then became crystal clear with regard to process audits, expert tasks and accounting reporting. These areas are now the subject of other work being performed by advisers from APOGEO and other companies.
Besides doing a good job, co-ordinating the acquisition of information and dispensing with the sub-optimal advisers, the client also appreciated our transparent pricing policy, which, before starting out on the job, enabled them to allocate a budget - for conversion from CZ GAAP do IFRS, for the consolidation of the IFRS financial statements and the audit of the financial statements consolidated in accordance with IFRS, and also for the obligatory quarterly reporting.
The APOGEO Group, together with other partners (Erste Corporate Banking / Česká spořitelna, a.s., HSP & Partners advokátní kancelář v.o.s. and the law firm Havel, Holásek & Partners s.r.o.), readied the issuer for a successful launch on the BSE, in particular by verifying the consolidated financial statements of PLG in accordance with IFRS and by preparing the financial part of the issuer’s prospectus - the main document on which potential buyers would base their decision.
It is clear that we were able to provide our client with a high-quality and timely service, which in this case was particularly extensive. Indeed, our client preferred our services to those of their existing auditors. We had also previously provided PLG with expert services in the earlier re-financing of their bank loans.
We are confident that other clients/potential clients will also find a partner in the APOGEO Group who can pleasantly surprise them with their high quality, promptness, wide palette of services and client-centred approach.