Central Retail Group Eyes $2.7B IPO


In what would be Thailand’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), Central Retail Corporation, the country’s largest retailer, is looking to raise up to 81.1 billion baht or approximately $2.7 billion. The company said that funds raised would be used to grow its international and domestic businesses as well as pay off debt, The New York Times reported.

Central Retail’s plans to go public would overtake the biggest listing in the country, BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Fund, which in 2013 notched 62 billion baht. Central Retail, which is part of the billionaire Chirativat family’s Central Group, will sell up to 22.1 percent of the firm’s stock or 1.69 billion shares with a 169 million share overallotment option and an IPO price range between 40 and 48 baht per share.

Subscriptions for investors will start at the beginning of February. With its listing plans, parent company Central Group will delist its Robinson Pcl retail subsidiary. It will offer a share swap to the current shareholders of Robinson with no cash alternatives. The Robinson share swap will reportedly start in late January.

Central Retail had 106 billion baht or $3.46 billion in revenue in the six months that concluded in June. It has 2,000 stores in Thailand. As it stands, the report noted there has been renewed interest in the capital markets of the country, headed up by conglomerate spin-offs and inaugural share sales from billionaire families.

In separate potential Asia IPO news, Chinese eCommerce company Inc.’s logistics unit is reportedly in early talks with banks regarding a potential offering that could raise $8 billion to $10 billion. JD Logistics is aiming for a valuation of at least $30 billion per unnamed sources in published reports on Dec. 23.

The company is expected to choose banks for the offering in Q2 2020 and plans to use the funds for potential acquisitions and warehouse expansion. The second-largest Chinese eCommerce company after Alibaba, declined to comment on the potential IPO per the report.


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