(ATF) The Philippines - the longtime laggard of Asian capital markets - is set for a boost as noodle maker Monde Nissin Corporation announced on March 4 it would seek to raise 63 billion pesos ($1.3 billion) through an initial public offering that is set to be the country's largest-ever listing.
The maker of the ubiquitous Lucky Me! brand of noodles is banking on growing demand for both consumer staples and higher-value products.
Lucky Me! is an iconic brand in the Philippines, while UK meat substitute Quorn, bought in 2015 for $831 million, has given the company a foothold in the healthy food category.
Monde Nissin, with net sales of $1.4 billion last year, leads the domestic market in instant noodles, crackers, biscuits and yogurt drinks.
According to Kantar, the Lucky Me! brand was bought by 97.2% of Philippine households in 2019.
The company said it would use the funds to expand capacity at its Asia-Pacific business, which exports products to more than 50 countries, and to increase capacity for Quorn and other non-meat products.
It would also repay loans and redeem convertible notes with the funds raised, according to stock exchange filings.
The company is seeking regulatory approval to sell up to 3.6 billion primary shares at a maximum price of 17.50 pesos each, with an option to sell up to 540 million additional shares through an over-allotment.
The IPO would surpass the record $627 million raised in 2013 by Robinsons Retail Holdings.
Only three companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange last year, raising a total of 44.3 billion pesos. The stock index is down 3.6% in 2021, making it Southeast Asia's worst performer.
With reporting by Reuters