'Lucky Me' maker set to hold Philippines' biggest IPO next week: sources

Reuters

Posted at May 06 2021 02:13 PM | Updated as of May 06 2021 04:19 PM

'Lucky Me' maker set to hold Philippines' biggest IPO next week: sources 1
The Lucky Me brand of instant noodles is among the flagship brands of food manufacturer MondeNissin, which is reportedly set to hold the Philippines' biggest IPO next week. Photo from company Facebook page

SINGAPORE - Food manufacturer MondeNissin plans to open the books for a P48.6 billion ($1 billion) IPO next Tuesday at a fixed price of P13.50, people with knowledge of the transaction said.

The company behind the popular Lucky Me instant noodles brand, has indicated that cornerstone investors can submit bids at the fixed price, which is set to be the record as the country’s biggest IPO.

The company, which also manufactures meat alternative Quorn, had flagged the sale of up to 3.6 billion primary shares at a maximum price of 17.50 pesos, but Philippine IPOs are rarely set at their top price.

A spokesman for Monde Nissin declined to comment.

"Monde could have priced the IPO higher but it was best to leave some money on the table in these choppy markets," said one person who did not want to be identified as the fixed price has not been announced.

Monde Nissin is looking to finalize agreements with its cornerstone investors this week before formally opening books for the $1 billion IPO next week, said two of the sources.

Including an overallotment option of 15 percent, Monde Nissin's IPO is set to raise P55.89 billion, or $1.16 billion.

The firm is banking on the growing demand for both consumer staples and higher-value products.

Lucky Me! is an iconic local brand, while British meat substitute Quorn, which Monde Nissin bought in 2015 for $831 million, gives it a foothold in the healthy food category.

The company reported net sales of P68 billion for 2020, up 4.6 percent from P65 billion in 2019. Net profit rose 21 percent to P8.07 billion from P6.65 billion.

The Philippines, a historical laggard in Southeast Asia in terms of capital market fundraising, is shaping up as the region's biggest IPO market of 2021, despite local equity markets falling nearly 12 percent so far this year. 

($1 = P48.03)

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