At P24 per share, Converge ICT plans massive P35.9-billion IPO

MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed on Friday, July 3, the planned initial public offering (IPO) of broadband services provider Converge ICT Solutions.

The SEC confirmed reports of the IPO, noting that Converge ICT may offer almost 1.5 million shares at a maximum offer price of P24 per share for a total of P35.9 billion.

The IPO proceeds would be primarily used for the company's capital expenditure requirements to accelerate its nationwide fiber network rollout.

"The planned IPO would facilitate the listing of the fiber internet and other consumer-centric digital services provider on the Main Board of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)," the SEC said.

Pricing is targeted to be on October 9, while the listing date and start of trading on the PSE would be October 26.

Converge ICT’s prospectus for its massive P35.9 billion IPO is out. Here are some details: Offer: Up to 1.3 million common shares, overallotment up to 195k Price: Up to P24/share To be listed on main board of PSE Pricing: Oct 9 Listing: Oct 26 @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/njuntT7LUF — Ralf Rivas (@RalfRivas) July 3, 2020

Financials

In its prospectus, Converge ICT said its revenues in 2019 stood at P9.1 billion. It had P4.6 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization or EBITDA.

The company added that during the coronavirus lockdown, particularly in May, it acquired 50,000 new residential subscribers. In June, when the lockdown started to ease, it added 60,000 new residential subscribers.

Converge ICT said it is the fastest-growing fixed broadband operator in the country, capturing 59% of the total new fixed broadband subscriptions.

The company, owned by Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony Uy – not to be confused with Davao City businessman Dennis Uy – operates mainly in Luzon and services two million households.

Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO Unibank, Morgan Stanley, and UBS Group AG were tapped as the banks for the IPO, according to a Bloomberg report.

The internet provider's fundraising plans come as demand for internet connectivity soars during the coronavirus pandemic.

Should market regulators approve the IPO, Converge ICT would be the 2nd company to go public in 2020 amid volatility, after Injap Sia's MerryMart Consumer Corporation.

Converge ICT initially wanted to bid for the 3rd major telco slot, along with South Korea's KT Corporation and Teltech, but backed out due to  "commercially unviable" conditions. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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