Asia United Bank going public

Offering of 80M shares set May 7 to 14

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a plan by the Rebisco group’s commercial banking arm Asia United Bank to sell as much as P9.68 billion worth of shares and debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Taking advantage of the bullish stock market, AUB plans to offer up to 88 million primary common shares for as much as P110 each. The base offer consists of 80 million shares while an additional eight million shares have been set aside for overallotment.

AUB recently obtained approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to expand into a universal bank and part of the requirement was to become a public company.

The offering, which will take place on May 7 to 14, will bring to public hands close to 27 percent of the bank’s post-IPO capitalization. IPO pricing will be finalized by May 3 while listing on the PSE is targeted on May 17.

At the maximum price of P110 each, this offering represents about 1.6 times AUB’s estimated book value of P62.14 a share immediately following the IPO. East West Bank and Philippine Business Bank, the last two banks that went public, had priced their respective IPOs at 1.12x and 1.35x book value, respectively.

Most banking peers are trading at close to twice their book value except for Bank of the Philippine Islands, the most valuable bank, which is trading at more than thrice its book value.

UBS AG Hong Kong branch and Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd. have been named joint bookrunners and lead managers for the offering. Mandated sole global coordinator is UBS AG. Local IPO underwriters are First Metro Investment Corp. and BDO Capital and Investment Corp.

AUB is owned by a diverse group of Asian investors engaged in property development, manufacturing and other equity ventures. Rebisco, the Philippines’ leading manufacturer, distributor and exporter of snack food products for the past 49 years, is the biggest shareholder of the bank with a 44-percent stake, which will be diluted to 32.2 percent after the IPO.

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