Razon’s infra arm delays P28-B IPO | Inquirer Business

Razon’s infra arm delays P28-B IPO

/ 02:03 AM October 12, 2022

Enrique Razon Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. is delaying the P28-billion initial public offering (IPO) of Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc., which would have been the biggest local public listing this year, due to volatile market conditions.

Prime Infrastructure—which controls water concessionaire giant Manila Water Co. Inc. alongside an array of solar, hydro and gas power projects—may relaunch the IPO in the second quarter of 2023, said Eduardo Francisco, president of deal underwriter BDO Capital & Investment Corp.

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Prime Infrastructure, which is also acquiring the critical Malampaya gas project, had been planning to sell to the public this month as much as 1.97 billion common shares, including an overallotment option for 179.37 million shares, at up to P14.60 each. This equity deal will bring to public hands up to 22 percent of its shares.“[We] will be ready to launch anytime and [we are] just watching how receptive markets are,” Francisco said in a text message on Tuesday.

Jacqui de Jesus, head of research strategy at Maybank Securities Inc., said delays in the country’s IPO pipeline were expected due to volatility in the global financial markets.

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“You’re not going to raise good money [in this environment],” she said in an interview on Tuesday. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index has lost nearly 18 percent since the start of the year and officially entered a bear market in late September.

On the sidelines, for now

Prime Infrastructure is among the companies that have decided to defer listing this year. Earlier, meat supplier North Star Meat Merchants Inc. postponed its P4.5-billion offer while consumer electronics chain operator Upson International Corp. pushed back its P5.4-billion IPO to the first quarter of 2023.

Eight companies have braved the IPO market so far these year. These were Haus Talk Inc., Figaro Coffee Group Inc., Citicore Energy REIT Corp., Bank of Commerce, CTS Global Equity Group Inc., Raslag Corp., VistaREIT Inc. and Balai ni Fruitas Inc.

The largest of the IPO applications was filed by Prime Infrastructure, whose operating companies are Prime Metro Power Holdings Corp., Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Prime Infrastructure Inc. and Trident Water Co. Holdings., which owns 52 percent of Manila Water.

Proceeds from the IPO will finance the company’s expansion for power, water and sustainable fuel and waste segments. CLSA Ltd. acts as sole global coordinator, joint international bookrunner and stabilizing agent. UBS is a joint international bookrunner while BDO Capital and BPI Capital are joint bookrunners and local underwriters. The domestic co-lead underwriters are First Metro Investment, PNB Capital and RCBC Capital. INQ

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