SEC okays increase in Gweilo IPO size

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GWEILO Corp., operator of the Mario’s Kitchen restaurant chain, has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to proceed with a bigger initial public offering (IPO) and planned increase in authorized capital stock.

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In an en banc meeting on Tuesday, the SEC approved both the increase in Gweilo’s IPO size to P105 million from P95 million earlier, as well as its proposed hike in authorized capital to P350 million from P200 million.

The SEC had approved Gweilo’s P95 million IPO plan in May this year but the restaurant operator upsized its offer size to P105 million in October — equivalent to 105 million shares priced at P1 per share. This amounts to a 34 percent public float out of its issued and outstanding capital stock of 305 million common shares.

However, it must secure the approval first of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) before it can proceed with the public offer and listing.

In its amended timetable, the offer period will now run from December 21 to 29, while its shares are expected to be listed on the PSE on January 8.

The net proceeds of P96 million will go to the expansion of company-owned Mario’s Kitchen and Stackers, implementation of unified IT systems, research and development, as well as working capital to be utilized next year up to 2018.

At the same meeting, the SEC approved the change in the company’s president. Last August 5, Gweilo appointed Chard Dominic J. Hernandez as its new president and director, replacing Raul Mariano D. De Castro. Hernandez left his seat as an independent director to become the company’s president.

After the IPO, the company intends to open at least 15 Mario’s Kitchen outlets by 2020 — 10 company-owned branches and five for franchise. Of these, 12 branches will be in some parts of Metro Manila, one in Tagaytay, and two will be in the Ilocos Region.

Incorporated in 2001, Gweilo is engaged in the casual dining business, operating brands including Gweilo’s Bar, Mario’s Kitchen, Galleon by Mario’s Kitchen, Grab and Go, and Daddy O’s via company-owned units and franchise deals.

So far this year, four companies have already listed on the PSE: Crown Asia Chemicals Corp. in April (P222.78 million), SBS Philippines Corp. in early August (P1.15 billion), Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. in November (P3.62 billion), and Italpinas Development Corp. last December 7 (P207.44 million)

Some other IPO plans still in the pipeline are: Pro-Friends or Company of Friends Inc. (P7.7 billion), Datem Inc. (P4.65 billion), D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc. (P10.7 billion), Green Power Panay Philippines Inc. (P290 million), Philippine Primark Properties Inc. (P1.2 billion), Philstocks Financial Inc. (P185.89 million), Pointwest Technologies Corp. (P2.09 billion), and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp, among others.

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