Robinsons Retail initiates IPO process

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Lance Gokongwei AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — While waiting for the right time,  the group of tycoon John Gokongwei has started preparing the groundwork for an initial public offering or IPO of retail unit Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. which, at P40 billion, could be the largest stock debut in the country.

Taking advantage of the strong investor interest on the local consumer segment alongside a faster-growing economy, Robinsons Retail Holdings has submitted an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission for the offering of up to 461.897 million primary shares at a maximum price per share of P86.64.

The Gokongweis’ retail group is one of the country’s biggest retailers alongside SM Retail and Puregold Price Club.  It has 27 years of retailing experience with its chain of department stores, supermarkets, hardware and home improvement outlets, appliance stores, fashion specialty stores, convenience store and the toy store Toys R’ Us.

Documents from the SEC showed that this offering, 70 percent of which is targeting international investors, will bring to public hands about a third of the company’s post-IPO capitalization.

Robinsons Retail has mandated Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong branch, JP Morgan Securities, plc and UBS AG Hong Kong branch as joint global coordinators, bookrunners and international lead managers for this this offering, based on the documents.  Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners was also appointed sole domestic lead underwriter.

Proceeds from the IPO are expected to be used to expand various retailing formats.

Lance Gokongwei, president of JG Summit Holdings Inc., said this unit would be operated as a holding firm for all retailing units and that there were no plans to fold it into the conglomerate in the future.

JG Summit controls several other publicly listed companies: food group Universal Robina Corp., property developer Robinsons Land Corp. and budget carrier Cebu Air.

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