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ANI subsidiary Big Chill eyes IPO this year

/ 03:14 PM January 23, 2017

The Big Chill Inc. (TBCI), a subsidiary of publicly listed Agrinurture Inc. (ANI), is eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) this year to enable the company to expand in the Greater China Region as it hitches on improved bilateral relations between Manila and Beijing.

The company owns iconic brands Big Chill and Fresh Bar and is the franchisor of Tully’s Coffee in the Asia Pacific region. In recent years, it started offering franchises in major cities in the Philippines and Asia with the fastest growth expected in Greater China Region.

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Proceeds from the planned public listing would fund the capital expenditures it needs to expand in China.

With the craze for Japanese-themed food chains in Asia, the combined Tully’s and Big Chill stores are expected to be well accepted by consumers in Asia. Tully’s is the famous coffee brand originally from Seattle that outperformed Starbucks in Japan.

As part of the planned listing, ANI has notified its shareholders on Monday (Jan. 23, 2017) that they are going to receive one warrant — (5-year American call option) — of TBCI priced at par value of 1 peso each for every 2,000 shares of ANI as of cut off date February 3, 2017.

The Big Chill Inc. was established in 1994 as a new concept serving premium quality blended shakes made with 100 percent fresh-cut fruit, targeting mainly the AB and upper C market segments through its extensive network of shops and kiosks that provide convenient access to fresh fruit shakes. Its parent firm ANI has been serving the raw material to the food service sector in Asia for the last two decades following its farm to plate model.

The Fresh Bar, meanwhile, is an expanded concept of Big Chill which offers the same fresh fruit shakes along with a line of hearty gourmet soups, healthy pasta offerings, fresh salads and sandwiches.

Both The Big Chill and Fresh Bar brands provide new food service beverage concepts ideally suited for today’s healthy and fast paced lifestyle.

ANI, which is engaged in the trading and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Philippines, acquired TBCI in 2011 as part of its strategy to forward integrate and complete its vision of becoming a global leader in providing nutrition from farm to fork.

ANI is engaged in the management and operation of food and beverage outlets under a range of brands that cater to different market segments in Manila, Hong Kong, and Xiamen.  Taipei and Xuzhou are expected after the lunar new year break.

Under ANI’s management, TBCI is projected to churn revenues close to P5 billion a year.

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To date, there are eight F&B brands in the TBCI roster catering to a variety of market segments.

The company will file the necessary regulatory approvals for the planned listing this year.

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the operator of the local bourse, is looking at six to eight initial public offerings (IPOs) this year or possibly double the four IPOs last year.

PSE president Hans Sicat said the environment is better this year as some of the global uncertainties have already dissipated. These include last year’s policy rate setting meeting of the US Federal Reserve, the US elections and move of Britain to exit from the European Union. 

Last year, total capital raised from the local bourse including IPOs amounted to P170.12 billion, slightly lower than the P184.60 billion raised for the whole of 2015.

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TAGS: Agribusiness, Agrinurture Inc., Business, fresh bar, IPO, The Big Chill Inc.
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