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Century Pacific public float up to 21%

/ 12:26 AM July 09, 2016

The Po family sold a 5-percent stake in Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF) for P2.6 billion, unlocking gains from record-high share prices and widening the public ownership of the country’s largest canned food firm.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, CNPF said parent firm Century Pacific Group Inc (CPGI) had agreed to sell 118 million shares of CNPF at P22 per share.

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After the placement, CPGI will remain as the largest shareholder of CNPF with a 69-percent stake while CNPF’s public float was increased from 16 percent to 21 percent.

“The transaction was conducted to broaden CNPF’s shareholder base and is in response to demand from global institutional investors for additional shares and improved trading liquidity,” the firm said.

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The sale was made via an accelerated overnight equity placement, through the facilities of the PSE, and was set for settlement on July 13.  Most of the shares were taken up by long-term foreign investors.

CLSA Ltd. and Deutsche Bank AG were the deal’s placing agents.

The placement price of P22 per share marked a 4-percent discount from CNPF’s 10-day volume weighted average price of P22.87 per share and a 1 percent discount from its 30-day weighted average price of P22.28.

On Thursday, shares of CNPF closed at P24 per share, near its all-time high of P24.80 per share.

“CNPF shares sold during the placement were all owned by CPGI and will not dilute the shareholdings of CNPF’s existing public investors as of the date of the placement,” the disclosure said.

Pursuant to the sale of 118 million shares, both CNPF and the selling shareholder agreed not to sell, assign, or in any manner dispose of any more CNPF shares until Oct. 11, 2016, or for a period of 96 days. This is except for the stock dividend approved by CNPF’s shareholders last June 30 and expected to be distributed on Aug. 10.

Consensus forecast this year is for CNPF to post P2.5 billion in net profit, 31.5 percent up from last year’s P1.9 billion.

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In the first quarter, CNPF grew its revenue by 20 percent while net profit rose by 45 percent to P640 million. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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