Bourse approves listing of IPVG unit

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, BusinessWorld

Posted at Oct 25 2010 01:22 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2010 09:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Wednesday approved the initial public offering (IPO) of IP Converge Data Center, Inc., the local bourse’s top executive said late last week.

The fourth public listing approved by the stock exchange for the year will allow the information and telecommunications arm of listed IPVG Corp. to generate P320 million to P365.5 million in fresh capital.

It will also be the second IPVG subsidiary to go public this year. “The approval was on the same board meeting,” PSE Chairman Hans B. Sicat told reporters, referring to the Oct. 20 PSE board meeting. In the same meeting, the PSE allowed Zamora-led Nickel Asia Corp. to conduct its P8.05-billion IPO.

With the recent development, Mr. Sicat said the local bourse was expecting a total of three IPOs for the year.

In mid-October, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cleared IP Converge’s plan to sell 45.57 million common shares at P7.04 to P8.80 per share.

The shares are equivalent to 25% of the company. Public listing is set for Dec. 8, with IP Converge tapping Unicapital, Inc. as underwriter and issue manager.

IP Converge told corporate regulators fresh funds would be used for data center and network expansion.

IP Converge, which was incorporated in 2001, operates telecommunication-grade Internet data center facilities in the Philippines. It provides Internet data center services like dedicated Internet connectivity, network security, simple bandwidth provisioning, and network management systems.

“It is a small offering,” Mr. Sicat said, comparing the IP Converge listing to other IPOs this year.

Tomorrow, Gokongwei-led Cebu Air, Inc., the operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, will list P26.83 billion worth of shares, the largest IPO in the PSE.

The PSE had previously approved the IPO of property developer Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. and Nickel Asia. The approval of Globe Asiatique’s listing, however, was revoked amid allegations the company was involved in a housing loan drawdown anomaly involving fictitious borrowers.

Last week, IP Converge tied up with global information technology leader Sybase, Inc. to launch a new managed data service for Philippine companies. The firms will offer data replication services.

On Feb. 17, IPVG listed its Internet game publishing unit IP E-Game Ventures, Inc. by way of introduction.

Shares in parent firm IPVG rose by 4.37% or P0.07 to close at P1.67 apiece on Friday.