Wilcon jumps 5.5% on market debut


WILCON Depot Inc. (WLCON), the home improvement and construction supply retailer, made a strong debut on Friday on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), with its shares climbing 5.5 percent despite a sluggish broader market.

Wilcon shares closed at P5.33, up 5.54 percent from its initial public offering price (IPO) of P5.05 per share. The benchmark PSE index finished trading Friday down 20.87 points or 0.29 percent at 7,311.72.

The construction supply retailer offered 1.393 million IPO shares worth P7 billion, which was 3.7 times oversubscribed entirely by local investors.

Justin Juan Ocampo, First Metro executive vice president (EVP), and Gabriel Lim, senior vice president of BDO Capital both noted on Friday that apart from being the first IPO for 2017, Wilcon’s was the “largest all-domestic IPO” conducted so far.

“This is the largest all-domestic IPO. This has never happened before. There was an increase in depth in the domestic market, and we think Wilcon has opened the doors for the other issuers to brave a domestic issue,” Lim said.

“This is a very healthy IPO, and we’re very happy with the market reception. Wilcon is a domestic issue, but there were also good numbers of foreign orders… As a Philippine company, domestic retail investors know Wilcon very well. Institutionals still have the large cut-up, but domestic retail investors account for more than 50 percent,” Ocampo said.

First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) is one of the joint lead underwriters of the Wilcon IPO together with BDO Capital & Investment Corp. FMIC is also the issue manager and bookrunner for the offer. RCBC Capital Investment Corp. acted as co-lead underwriter while Penta Capital Investment Corp. was a participating underwriter.

Ocampo said a lot of deals are being rushed to be completed within the first half of the year, given the anticipated interest rate hikes by the second half of 2017.

In order for deals to be successful in the second half of 2017, issuers should be able to “offer a good name to the market, structure the transaction properly, calibrate the pricing of an issue, calibrate to the market that it is sustainable, and be able to market that the stock is a good name despite headwinds we encounter day in and out,” BDO Capital’s Lim said.

Wilcon will use about P6 billion of the IPO proceeds to fund its five-year expansion program and the balance will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

For 2017, the company is set to open seven more stores — four in Visayas and three in Mindanao — after opening its Wilcon Depot Butuan last January.

Wilcon is the home improvement and retail construction business of the Belo family, led by its chairman William T. Belo.


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