Balai ni Fruitas debuts amid market selloff
Businessman Lester Yu’s Balai ni Fruitas, the bakery and beverage arm of listed Fruitas Holdings, closed in the red on its trading debut on Thursday amid a general market selloff.
Balai ended the session down 7.14 percent to P0.65 versus its initial public offering (IPO) price of P0.70 per share.
The company rose as much as 18.6 percent earlier in the session but was dragged lower as the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) dropped 2.34 percent.
Balai raised P2227.5 million in gross proceeds after selling about 27 percent of its shares to the public. First Metro Investment Corp. was the sole issue manager, book runner and underwriter.
Balai has three brands: Buko ni Fruitas, Fruitas House of Desserts and Balai Pandesal. It operated 77 stores at the end of 2021.
In its latest investor prospectus, Balai said over 80 percent of the IPO proceeds, or P163.8 million, would be used for store network expansion. The remainder would be split between its commissary operations and possible acquisitions.
“The company’s potential target acquisitions will be geared toward broadening its baked goods product offering or adding sales channels. The company is still in the early stages of evaluating these options and there are no definitive agreements signed,” it noted in the prospectus.
Meanwhile, much of its planned expansion would involve Balai Pandesal.
Part of the IPO proceeds would be used to increase its Balai Pandesal store network from 31 outlets at the end of 2021 to 200 branches by 2026.
Balai is a subsidiary of Fruitas Holdings, which owns Sabroso Lechon and De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop and Juice Bar among other food concepts.
—MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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