Pro-Friends gets SEC nod for P7.7-B IPO

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Soon-to-be listed Company of Friends Inc. (Pro-Friends) has secured the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to proceed with its P7.7-billion initial public offering.

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In an SEC notice emailed to the media, Pro-Friends said it will go ahead with its IPO of 385.75 million shares, priced at a maximum of P20 each.

The final price will be set on December 15 and the offer period will be from December 17 to January 9 next year, while the listing of shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange will be on January 14.

First Metro Investments Corp. and BDO Capital Investments Corp. are the joint underwriters of the IPO.

Proceeds from the IPO, net of the listing-related deductions and taxes, will finance the company’s projects next year (P3.1 billion), investment in its in-house financing arm Williamton Holdings Inc. (P2.4 billion), general corporate purposes (P600 million) and land banking (P1.2 billion).

Among the projects it plans to develop next year are Lancaster New City in Cavite, Iloilo Estates, and its Cagayan de Oro development.

Pro-Friends has a total land bank of 1,832 hectares which is dedicated for nine estate, subdivision and condominium projects in four main locations: Cavite, Iloilo, Pampanga and Quezon City.

The company said it is constructing 600 to 700 houses monthly, and hopes to increase it to be able to address the 2.2 million low cost housing backlog, which is seen to go up to 6.5 million by 2030.

Among its projects in the pipeline are: the 1,435-hectare Lancaster Estates in Cavite, the 170-hectare Iloilo Estates, the 1.24-hectare condominium tower Illustrada Residences in Quezon City, as well as five projects all in Cavite.

The five Cavite projects are the 110-hectare Bellefort Estates, the 72-hectare Carmona Estates, the 16.9-hectare Montefaro Village, the 15.5-hectare Cedar Residences and the 5.21-hectare Saint Joseph the Worker Village.

Since its establishment in 1999, Pro-Friends has completed 17 projects amounting to 120 hectares of land consisting of 36,000 units of economic, low-cost and socialized housing.

Pro-Friends has two wholly owned subsidiaries: Micara Land Inc. for socialized housing, and Firm Builders Realty Development Corp. for low-cost and economic housing.

The property firm is owned by the Choa family via its parent firm Pro-Friends Group Inc., formerly Amicus Holdings Inc., which also owns an independent in-house financing firm, Williamton Holdings Inc.

The group is involved in developing socialized housing units (priced P400,000 and below per unit); economic (P400,000 to P2.5 million per unit); low cost (P1 million to P3 million per unit).

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