PSE approves P1-B IPO of Discovery hotel group

Bulk of proceeds to be invested in new ventures

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The Philippine Stock Exchange has approved the P1-billion initial public offering planned by Discovery World Corp., developer of upscale beachfront resort Discovery Shores Boracay.

Based on an offering memorandum posted by the PSE on Friday, Discovery World’s IPO will run from Aug. 12 to 19 while listing on the main board of the local bourse is tentatively set for Aug. 29.

Discovery World will sell 306 million new common shares at P3.28 per share, putting 40 percent of its stocks in public hands.

The company will have a market capitalization of P2.5 billion after the IPO.

The issue manager and underwriter for the offering is Abacus Capital & Investment Corp.

The company plans to use proceeds from the offering to invest in new businesses (P575 million), retire debt (P325 million) and boost working capital (P55.19 million). All these expenditures are set for the third or fourth quarter of this year.

For new business ventures, the company is looking to acquire 20 percent of hotel and restaurant management school Enderun Colleges, 100 percent of cruise operator Discovery Fleet Corp. and to buy into Palawan Cove Corp. , a company that owns beachfront properties in San Vicente, Palawan.

Discovery Fleet currently operates one cruise boat with about 50 rooms, offering full diving and non-diving programs.

For divers, it packages cruises to Tubbataha Reef, with Cagayancillo and Calusa as add-on options while for non-divers, it offers cruises bound for Pandan Island, Coron and Apo Reef.

Palawan Cove is still under construction and is expected to start operations by the second quarter of 2016.

Discovery World is 66.07 percent owned by JKTC Equities Inc., the investment holding firm of the Tiu family and 33.93 percent by The Discovery Leisure Co. Inc., the company managing Discovery Shores Boracay and the holder of shares in Discovery Fleet and Palawan Cove that the company will acquire. Their stake will be diluted to 39.61 percent and 20.34 percent, respectively, after the IPO.

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