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PROPERTY FIRM PROFRIENDS EYES ENTRY OF 2 STRATEGIC INVESTORS DURING UPCOMING IPO

PROPERTY FIRM PROFRIENDS EYES ENTRY OF 2 STRATEGIC INVESTORS DURING UPCOMING IPO
Property firm Profriends eyes entry of 2 strategic investors during upcoming IPO

MANILA – The maiden share sale of a mass housing developer has attracted strong interest from foreign investors, its underwriter said.

In a briefing on Thursday, First Metro Investments Corp (FMIC) president Roberto Juanchito Dispo told reporters that Profriends Property Group Inc may take in one or two cornerstone investors in its P7.7 billion initial public offering (IPO).

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved the change in corporate name to Profriends from Amicus Holdings Inc, the holding firm of Property Co of Friends Inc.

“It’s a robust growing market segment, underserved. Therefore, we believe the company is perfectly positioned to take advantage of opportunities in that property segment,” Dispo said.

The investment banking arm of the Metrobank group, FMIC, along with BDO Capital Investments Corp are the joint underwriters for Profriends’ IPO.

Profriends is selling 385.750 million primary common shares at a maximum price of P20 apiece to bankroll the development of its projects and finance landbanking initiatives in Cavite, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro. The real estate company will have a public float of 10.9 percent after the equity issuance.

Bookbuilding will run from October 13 to 28 while the offer period is slated from October 30 to November 7. Listing date is tentatively set on November 12.

The property firm has a landbank of 1,832 hectares. Its biggest development is the 1,435-hectare Lancaster New City, straddling General Trias, Kawit and Imus towns in Cavite, offering housing units, office buildings, a commercial center, school and a church.

“Estates allow for continuity. We can do this model in a lot of areas because the competitive edge of this model is very pronounced. The model provides us a lot of growth,” Profriends president and chief executive officer Gerry C. Choa said.

Profriends targets to sustain its margins at 53-55 percent, citing gains due to economies of scale because of its large-scale estate projects, said Joseph Dolina, the company’s chief finance officer.

With bulk of its landbank in Cavite, which supplies 60 percent of the BPO workforce in Metro Manila, Profriends is building a portfolio of as much as 17,000 seats for outsourcing firms or leasable area of more than 100,000 square meters in the medium term to bring employment closer to the people. Lancaster New City already has 400 seats.

Profriends subsidiary Micara Land is set to launch its maiden 50-hectare residential project in Tanza, Cavite by end of the year. It will offer 5,000 units priced between P600,000 and P800,000.

The real estate developer’s other projects are as follows:

    • 170-hectare Iloilo Estates in Pavia, Iloilo; • 110-hectare Bellefort Estates in Bacoor, Cavite; • 72-hectare Carmona Estates in Carmona, Cavite; • 17-hectare Montefaro Village in Bucandala, Cavite; • 16-hectare Cedar Residences in Carmona, Cavite; • 5-hectare Saint Joseph the Worker Village in General Trias, Cavite; • 5-hectare The Palms in Mexico, Pampanga; and • 1-hectare Ilustrata, Residences, the company’s first and only vertical development, in Cubao, Quezon City.

    Since its formation in 1999, Profriends has completed 17 projects totaling 120 hectares, largely in Cavite.

    Read more: http://www.interaksyon.com/business/96569/property-firm-profriends-eyes-entry-of-2-strategic-investors-during-upcoming-ipo