Ayala unit to sell more sharesBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ayala-led electronics manufacturing firm Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. plans to sell shares either through a private placement or an initial public offering this year to comply with the 10-percent minimum public float required by the Philippine Stock Exchange.
IMI, which listed on the PSE by way of introduction or without an IPO on January 2010, has a 9.7-percent public ownership. The PSE requires companies, which had previously listed by way of introduction, to conduct an IPO afterwards. The local bourse also requires all companies to maintain a public float of at least 10 percent to remain listed.
“We’re currently very close [to the requirement] so we’re looking at different options on how to achieve that. We’re also looking at market timing. We have the option of [doing a] private placement or IPO depending on market situation,” IMI chief finance officer Jerome Tan said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Friday.
In a briefing after the stockholders’ meeting, Tan said that based on the company’s discussions with the PSE, it was more important for IMI to meet the minimum 10-percent public float. “We’re not sure if we want to do a full IPO,” Tan said.
Although the overall local stock market is on a bull run, the global economic slowdown is a big concern for the electronics industry.
Overall, IMI is “cautiously optimistic” for the medium term. This year, the CFO said IMI would likely post better profits compared to last year. “Our future growth will be driven by our broader geographic presence, expanded technical capabilities and renewed focus on high-value, innovative product and manufacturing solutions,” the IMI chief said.
In July last year, IMI completed the acquisition of EPIQ subsidiaries in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Mexico. The company now has 17 manufacturing sites in seven countries around the world with an average utilization rate of 60-65 percent.
“The variety of locations leads to a diversity in markets and operations and an increase in programs to accommodate the needs of a wider client base. This will help ensure greater stability for IMI, as cultivating a broader, healthier mix of clients is certain to protect the company from the effects of market downturns,” Tan said.
“We anticipate to profit from increasing automotive electronic content through the development of driver-assistance systems, safety-related control devices, electronic-steering modules and ignition modules,” he said.
IMI is also bracing to provide advance power packaging, power modules and next-generation inverters for hybrid and electric vehicles.
“With the emergence of new applications of electronics for the industrial and medical fields, IMI will benefit from ventures with high-technology makers of accelerometers, smart meters, deep sea oil-drilling sensors and medical camera pills,” Tan said.
In support of the world’s transition to a low-carbon society, Tan said IMI would continue to engage in the development and manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) modules. “IMI is working toward more sustainable solar markets in the future such as concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), a type of solar technology that uses mirrors to focus and capture more energy from available sunlights in a given area,” he said.
Through Psi Technologies Inc., IMI is also involved in the development of LED prototype that will replace the incandescent bulb and drive down costs.
IMI has a market capitalization of about P7 billion at the local stock market.
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