Manila: A retailer is set to raise $622 million (Dh2.2 billion) in one of the largest-ever IPOs in the Philippines, as more companies sell shares to capitalise on the nation’s surging economy. Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. plans to use the money to boost its store chain from 940 to 1,400, said Dennis Du, executive director of Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital, the IPO’s domestic underwriter.
“This will be one of the biggest IPOs ever in the Philippines,” Du said.
Robinsons, owned by Chinese-Filipino tycoon John Gokongwei, told the Philippine Stock Exchange it will sell at least 461.9 million common shares to the public on October 29 at 58 pesos (Dh4.95) a share, or 26.79 billion pesos in total.
The country’s main business groups have taken to selling shares to raise capital to take advantage of robust economic growth that saw the Philippines’ GDP rise by 6.8 per cent last year and 7.6 per cent in the first-half of 2013.
The country’s biggest IPO launched in April when the LT Group Inc. of Lucio Tan, the country’s second-wealthiest man, raised 37.72 billion pesos.
Seventy per cent of the Robinsons shares are to be sold to investors abroad and the balance in the Philippines, according to its prospectus.
Robinsons will list at the Philippine Stock Exchange on November 11, it added.
The retail chain includes department stores, groceries, hardware shops, drugstores, the local franchise to giant US retailer Toys R Us. As a retailing business in the Philippines Robinsons is second only to the SM group of tycoon Henry Sy, the country’s richest man.
Forbes.com lists Gokongwei as the Philippines’ fifth-richest man with a net worth of $3.4 billion as of July 2013. The 87-year-old Chinese immigrant is the patriarch of a business empire that also includes airline Cebu Pacific, property, food manufacturing, banking and petrochemicals. Cebu Pacific’s IPO raised 23.3 billion pesos in 2010.