SEC approves IPOs of DATEM, Gaisano group Metro Retail Stores


(Source: Business World, by Krista Angela M. Montealegre | October 9, 2015)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cleared the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Visayan retail giant Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. and diversifying construction firm DATEM, Inc., worth nearly P11 billion together and kicking off a busy fourth quarter for first-time share sales.

The corporate regulator approved DATEM’s P4.66-billion and Metro Retail Stores’ P6.17-billion maiden share sale in an executive session on Friday, Armando A. Pan Jr., officer-in-charge of the Office of the Commission Secretary, said in a mobile phone message.

“We still aim to get them done by end of this year, although there may be some minor adjustments to the timetable,” Reginaldo Anthony B. Cariaso, chief operating officer of BPI Capital Corp., said in a separate mobile phone message.

BPI Capital is one of the underwriters of both transactions.

The IPOs of Metro Retail Stores and DATEM — the third and fourth to gain an SEC nod this year — start a flurry of share sales to be completed before the end of the year, in a bid to take advantage of the window of opportunity presented by expectations of a delay in the interest rate hike in the United States.

“The volatilities in emerging markets nothwithstanding, the benefits of an equities fundraising remain quite attractive for a lot of issuers as well as investors,” Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran said in a mobile phone message.

Besides Metro Retail Stores and DATEM, the other IPO hopefuls are D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. (P21.7 billion); Pointwest Technologies Corp. (P2.09 billion); TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. (P1.51 billion); Philippine Primark Properties, Inc. (P1.2 billion); Italpinas Development Corp. (P242 million); Gweilo Corp. (P95 million); Philstocks Financial, Inc. (P190 million); and Green Power Panay Philippines, Inc. (P290 million).

So far, only two firms — Crown Asia Chemicals Corp. and SBS Philippines Corp. — have joined the PSE this year.

The Gaisano-owned multi-format Metro Retail Stores is issuing up to 920 million new shares and another 92 million secondary shares, in case of strong demand, at a maximum price of P6.10 apiece, according to its registration statement.

Net proceeds from the primary offering will be used to expand the store network, establish a consolidated logistics and distribution center, and for working capital requirements.

Under the original timetable, Metro Retail Stores aims to set the final price on Oct. 29, with the offer period scheduled to run Nov. 2-6. The shares will be listed on the Main Board of the Philippine Stock Exchange on Nov. 12.

BPI Capital and Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch were tapped as joint global coordinators and lead underwriters.

Meanwhile, DATEM is selling up to 329.046 million primary and secondary shares at a ceiling price of P14.15 per share, according to a registration statement dated Aug. 20.

The firm offer of as much as 286.13 million shares will be composed of 257.51 million new shares and 28.61 million shares to be sold by the selling shareholders. The selling shareholders may sell an additional 42.92 million shares to cover over-allotment.

DATEM is earmarking the proceeds from the share sale for the capital expenditures of its construction business, land banking and construction-related costs of its property subsidiary, and the development of water treatment and bulk water supply projects.

The final offer price will be determined on Nov. 12, kicking off the share sale slated for Nov. 16-24. Trading of the shares on the Main Board will commence Nov. 27.

BPI Capital and First Metro Investment Corp. were mandated joint issue coordinators, joint lead underwriters, and bookrunners.


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