Philippine food maker Monde Nissin Corp has secured investor commitments for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) at P13.50 ($0.28) each, in what would be the country’s biggest IPO on record, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The owner of meat alternative Quorn had flagged the sale of up to 3.6 billion primary shares at a maximum price of P17.50, but Philippine IPOs are rarely set at their top price.

“Monde could have priced the IPO higher but it was best to leave some money on the table in these choppy markets,” said one person who did not want to be identified as the fixed price has not been announced.

More than a dozen cornerstone investors, including some of the world’s largest asset managers are backing the IPO, the sources said.

The Philippines, a historical laggard in Southeast Asia in terms of capital market fundraising, is shaping up as the region’s biggest IPO market of 2021, despite local equity markets falling nearly 12% so far this year.

Monde Nissin is looking to finalise agreements with its cornerstone investors this week before formally opening books for the $1 billion IPO next week, said two of the sources.

Including an overallotment option of 15%, Monde Nissin’s IPO is set to raise P55.89 billion or $1.16 billion.

The firm is banking on growing demand for both consumer staples and higher-value products.

Lucky Me! is an iconic local brand, while British meat substitute Quorn, which Monde Nissin bought in 2015 for $831 million, gives it a foothold in the healthy food category. 

Source: Reuters