• Wilcon all set for P7.9-B IPO, targets March 23 listing


    WILCON Depot Inc. is all set for its P7.9 billion initial public offering (IPO) and is targeting a listing date of March 23 on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

    William T. Belo, Wilcon chairman, said the offer period will be mid-March. Wilcon will be offering 1.39 billion primary shares priced up to P5.68 per share to raise about P7.9 billion.

    The company’s IPO application has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) but is still awaiting regulatory approval from the PSE.

    Belo said P5 billion of the proceeds will be used to fund the company’s five-year plan from 2017 to 2021 while the balance will be used to refinance existing loans and working capital requirements.

    The five-year plan aims to increase Wilcon’s outlets to 65 by 2021. Wilcon had 37 stores as of end-2016. It opened a branch in Butuan last January, bringing its store count to 38 at present. The 27 additional branches planned will add about 240,000 square meters of retail space, increasing its retail portfolio to 585,000 sqms.

    “The proceeds will be used more on expansion of projects because the economy is doing really, really well. So we wanted to grow faster. We are averaging three to four branches in the past years. This year, we wanted to open eight branches. We just opened one last January and there will be seven more for the year,” Belo told reporters before a press briefing late Monday.

    “We’re doing 8,000 to 9,000 sqms per branch, so more or less, I think we’ll double our retail area,” he added.

    The seven outlets planned this year will be in Bacolod; Cagayan De Oro; Iloilo; Silang, Cavite; General Trias, Cavite; Manila; and Cabanatuan City.

    The company set capital expenditure of P2 billion for 2017 to fund these store openings.

    Wilcon Depot also intends to put up outlets in General Santos City, Zamboanga CIty, Iloilo, and Tacloban, among others.

    “We’ve been continuous with our expansion. Everyone is bullish about the economy. You can really see that it’s robust. We want to capitalize on that. The normal pace we had is three branches a year because of the financial considerations. But you get into an IPO, you have a bigger chance of doing it faster,” Belo said.

    The company aims to grow net profit and revenues by an average 13 percent to 15 percent yearly as new branches come into play.

    Mark Belo, Wilcon’s chief financial officer, said Wilcon posted net income of P900 million in 2016, up 67 percent from the previous year, while revenues increased 7 percent to P15.5 billion.

    Operating its first branch in 1977, Wilcon is the home improvement and retail construction business of the Belo family, led by its chairman William T. Belo. It operates its stores under the Wilcon Depot and Wilcon Home Essentials store formats, known for their one-stop shop concept for customers, industry-professionals, do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts, and homebuilders.


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