Robinsons may offer up to 35-percent stake to public

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The Gokongwei family’s Robinsons Retail Group may sell up to 35-percent stake to the public in line with its initial public offering plan (IPO) within the year.

“We’re probably looking [to sell]up to 35 percent of the company,” Lance Gokongwei, JG Summit president and chief operating officer, said, adding that the IPO may raise up to $800 million, or approximately P34 billion.

He said that the plan is to use the proceeds from the public offering for store expansion and possible acquisition of new chains or brands.

However, Gokongwei didn’t give an exact date when the company will officially list its shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange.


“As you know we’ve already undergone our registration with the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] for our IPO but IPO is also dependent on the market. It’s more important that we have a successful IPO, so we will wait for the right time. We have to wait for the market,” he said, citing that the original target is to do the offering some time this year or by the end also of this year.

Gokongwei explained that after the IPO, Robinsons Retail will be a retail holding company focused purely on multiformat retailing that includes department stores, supermarkets, hardware and convenient store.

“IPO is certainly important in the sense that there’s a huge consumer opportunity in the Philippines, especially at the middle-class growth, so right now, access to capital is important to continue to gain market share in this industry and to participate in its consolidation,” Gokongwei further said.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Robinsons Retail Group has been firming up its plan to raise around P40 billion through an IPO, which could be considered one of the largest public share sale conducted by a Philippine company.

International Financing Review (IFR), a publication of Thomson Reuters, earlier reported that the group is targeting to sell as much as 461.9 million shares at a maximum price of P86.64 apiece, to generate up to P40 billion in fresh capital.

Robinsons Retail Group owns and operates 35 department stores and 73 supermarkets nationwide.

According to IFR, the IPO of the group is scheduled in the third quarter of this year, adding that Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and UBS have been tapped to facilitate the offering.

Madelaine B. Miraflor

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