In what looks to be Thailand’s biggest IPO since 2013, the nation’s leading department store retailer Central Group said its upcoming listing is set to worth some $2.5 billion when it goes public on 20th February.
With the IPO launching via Central Group’s retail arm, the Bangkok-based company priced its shares at 42 baht ($1.35) each, the figure sitting toward the top of the predicted price range of 40 to 43 baht.
The $2.5 billion value for Central Retail’s IPO includes a tender for shares in Robinson, one of Central’s retail units, which was delisted prior to the flotation.
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, UBS and Thailand’s Bualuang Securities and Phatra Securities are sponsoring Central Retail’s IPO.
Owned by Thailand’s billionaire Chirathivat family, Central Group operates malls, hotels and e-commerce sites throughout Thailand. It currently has about 2,000 stores in the Southeast Asian nation.
Globally, the company is the largest foreign-owned retailer in Vietnam, operating its Big C hypermarket chain in the neighbouring Asian nation. In Europe, Central Group’s portfolio also includes Berlin’s KaDeWe department store, Italy’s Rinascente chain, and Denmark’s Illum – in a joint venture with Austria’s Signa Group.
Central group — via a joint venture partnership with Austria’s Signa – said it had acquired Swiss department store chain Globus and its real estate assets for some $1.03 billion.
The news of the IPO debut comes as global markets weaken on concerns that a new coronavirus outbreak in China would stifle economic growth globally.
The IPO is Thailand’s largest since the $2 billion flotation in 2013 of BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund, backed by revenues from Bangkok’s commuter railway.
In 2019, Thailand took the top spot in Southeast Asia with $4 billion in fundraisings last year, according to Refinitiv data.