SM Prime sells P6.55-B shares in placement

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2010 12:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 14 2010 09:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines- SM Prime Holdings Inc., the country's top mall developer, has raised P6.55 billion ($150 million) from the sale of shares.

In a statement, the company said the equity placement comprised 569.6 million common shares at P11.50 apiece.

It said the offer drew strong interest from institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the United States.

"The proceeds raised from the placement will be used to finance its strategic expansion program in the Philippines and China, as well as for general working capital of the company," SM Prime said.

Macquarie Capital (Singapore) Pte. Limited and CLSA Asia Pacific acted as joint bookrunners.

SM Prime was planning to raise up to $500 million from an offer of real estate investment trust (REIT), but this has been delayed as the Bureau of Internal Revenue as well as the Department of Finance want corporate regulators to amend implementing rules of the REIT law.

"[The delay] is one of the reasons [for the equity placement] but we also have to move on and continue with our programs," SM Prime executive vice president and chief financial officer Jeffrey Lim told reporters on Wednesday.

Lim said they will pursue the REIT offer "as soon as the implementing rules are finalized."

SM Prime is spending about P23 billion for 4 new malls in China to bring to 8 the total number of its malls there.

In the Philippines, the company is expected to have 40 malls by year-end.

It will open its 39th mall in Calamba, Laguna on Friday.

SM City Calamba, the third SM mall in Laguna, will have a gross floor area of 66,516 square meters.

SM Prime will also open a new mall in Novaliches, Quezon City next week.