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Resort operator said reviving listing plan

Posted on October 20, 2013 10:26:50 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

DISCOVERY WORLD Corp. has revived plans to go public, the chief of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said last week, adding that the resort operator could trim its target proceeds.

“They (Discovery) have the schedule already but I can’t remember the exact dates,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said in an interview on Wednesday in Makati City when asked on the status of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) plans.

Mr. Sicat said public offering could start next month.

Asked if Discovery is keeping its P1-billion target proceeds from the IPO, Mr. Sicat replied: “I think they will be needing less.”

Discovery officials could not be reached for comment.

Discovery told the PSE on Aug. 1 that it was deferring its IPO previously set for Aug. 12-19 “in view of certain forthcoming events that we believe will have a material positive impact on the company, its business, and future prospects.”

Discovery, which bagged regulatory approval for its maiden share sale in July, was looking to raise P1.004 billion by selling 306 million shares at P3.28 apiece. It planned to use funds raised to build a resort in Palawan, for investments in cruise business as well as a hotel and restaurant management school, and to pay debts, a preliminary prospectus showed.

It had appointed Abacus and Capital & Investment Corp. as IPO issue manager and underwriter.

Discovery World, owned by Tiu-led JKTC Equities, Inc. and The Discovery Leisure Co., Inc., operates Discovery Shores Boracay resort hotel on Boracay island in Aklan. Its net profit doubled to P14.16 million in the first quarter from P6.67 million in the same period last year on higher revenues.

Discovery will not be the only firm to downsize its offering due to weak market demand amid US uncertainties. Tugboat operator Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. and Resorts World Manila operator Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., which have revived their respective IPOs that were shelved in July, are now looking at lower proceeds.

Harbor Star, which ends its IPO on Wednesday, now expects to raise P341 million from an original P593 million after cutting its offer price to P1.88 apiece from P3.27. Travellers, which starts its IPO this Wednesday, is looking at up to P21 billion from nearly P40 billion after slashing its offer price to P11.28 each from “up to P23.38.” Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. now eyes up to P32 billion from an initial P42 billion after setting a “P55-66” range, lower than the P86.64 price when the company filed its IPO application in June. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon    
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