Courts Asia 2nd IPO in 2 years

Courts Asia has launched an initial public offering (IPO) in Singapore to raise S$137 million in gross proceeds.

Of this, S$40 million, or 30 per cent of the gross proceeds, will be used for the electronics and furniture retailer’s expansion into the Indonesian market, while S$86 million, or 63 per cent, raised from the sales of vendor shares will return to Courts Asia’s owner – the Asia Retail Group backed by Barings Private Equity. The balance will be used for working capital purpose and listings expenses.

Courts Asia is launching 178 million shares at an offer price of S$0.77 per share – the top end of its indicative price range. This brings its market capitalisation to about S$431 million. The retailer is offering 60 million new shares and its vendor, Singapore Retail Group is offering 118 million existing shares for subscription.

This is the second time the retailer with 70 stories in Singapore and Malaysia is gunning for a listing in two years. Its CEO, Terry O’ Connor, said market conditions are more benign this time and the firm is confident of its fundamentals.

According to the prospectus, four cornerstone investors will take up 44 per cent of the enlarged offering. They include JF Asset Management, New Silk Road Investment, Target Asset Management and Value Partners Hong Kong. While the firm’s chief executive and chief financial officer will purchase 14.3 million shares under the Management Subscription Tranche scheme.

The retailer is planning to open a store in eastern Jakarta in 2014. Plans are in the pipeline to open large format stores in other locations in Indonesia. Mr Terry O’ Connor said: “The Jakarta market is booming typically our categories are growing at 15 to 20 per cent per annum. And it’s very under penetrated with the market leader in Indonesia having less than 1.5 per cent market share so that offers great long term prospects in terms of an emerging middle class and great spending in our categories.

” Over the next two to three years, the retailer also intends to grow its store network by an average of six stores a year in Malaysia and one store a year in Singapore.

The public offer will open on the morning of 09 October and close on 11 October. Courts Asia is expected to start trading on the Singapore Exchange on 15 October.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd is the sole global coordinator, bookrunner, underwriter and issue manager of the IPO. UOB Kay Hian Private Ltd is the public offer coordinator and sub-placement agent

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