CTS Global plans PhP1.4B IPO

CTS Global Equity Group, Inc. (CGEGI) is planning to raise up to PhP1.375 billion from an initial public offering (IPO) in the first quarter of 2022.

CGEGI, established in 1986, is one of the country’s largest global stock brokerages. Besides the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the company is also active in trading in the United States, Hong Kong, and Japan. It is chaired by COL Financial Group, Inc. (COL) founder and veteran stockbroker Edward K. Lee.

The company hopes to use the proceeds from the offer towards further scaling global trading operations, expanding its client accounts management segment, and for general corporate purposes.

The company hopes to conduct its offer period from February 21 to 28, 2022 before a potential March 9 listing date.

Fruitas subsidiary to file for PhP309 million IPO

Balai ni Fruitas, Inc. (BALAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly-listed Fruitas Holdings, Inc. (FRUIT), is set to file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a potential PhP309 million initial public offering (IPO) as per a press release by FRUIT yesterday. The company hopes to list on the PSE’s SME Board by the first quarter of 2022.

BALAI, previously Buko Ni Fruitas, Inc., was incorporated in May 2005 and operates some of FRUIT’s most recognizable brands such as Buko Ni Fruitas, Fruitas House of Desserts, and Balai Pandesal.

BALAI managed to increase the number of Balai Pandesal outlets from 5 in June 2021 to 23 by September 2021. The company hopes to expand its Balai Pandesal store network to over 100 locations by end 2022 and 150 by end 2023. Furthermore, as of September 2021, BALAI boasts a combined 46 Buko Ni Fruitas and Fruitas House of Desserts outlets.

“We evaluated several capital-raising options to fund the next phase of growth of BALAI. Given the significant growth prospects of the bakery sector, distinct from the kiosks within Fruitas Holdings, we decided to undertake an IPO for BALAI,” said Mr. Lester Yu, Chief Executive Officer and President of FRUIT and BALAI.

As per Mr. Yu, the primary proceeds of the planned IPO would be used to expand BALAI’s store network to major Philippine cities and establish its own commissary to serve more customers. Part of the proceeds may also be utilized to potentially acquire other baked goods to broaden the company’s product offerings.

The planned IPO announcement comes after a recent streak of aggressive expansion by FRUIT in a bid to strengthen its long-term prospects. Although a technically smaller offering, BALAI’s recent rate of expansion may suggest relatively faster growth compared to FRUIT especially in the years to come.

SPNEC begins construction of 500MW solar power farm

Recently listed Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation (SPNEC) announced on Sunday that it was beginning construction of the first 50 megawatts (MW) of its planned 500MW Nueva Ecija solar power farm. The project is planned to be the largest solar project in Southeast Asia.

The company previously announced on Wednesday that it was preparing an initial 1,000 hectares of land for the planned expansion of its project via a joint venture with an unnamed partner.

SPNEC made history last December 17, 2021 when it debuted on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), effectively making it the country’s first pure-play solar company. SPNEC offered 2,700,000,000 primary shares to the public at PhP1.00 per share in an offering that was reportedly two times oversubscribed.

SPNEC, led by 28-year-old CEO Leandro Leviste, is a new but warmly-received player in the young local renewable energy sector. Although it lacks the financial backing of Ayala-led AC Energy Corporation (ACEN), the company’s planned 500MW solar power project could cement its position in the industry for years to come. This comes especially after the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its target of having renewable energy constitute 35% of the Philippines’ total energy mix by 2030.

Nonetheless, despite the company’s very promising future prospects, SPNEC is still commercially unproven as it is yet to start commercial operations as of June 30, 2021.

SPNEC closed at PhP1.15 per share last December 24, 2021.