June 10, 2023

DealBook: Felda Raises $3.1 Billion in Asia’s Biggest I.P.O.

HONG KONG– Felda Global Venture Holdings has successfully raised $3.1 billion by selling shares in Malaysia in the world’s second-largest initial public offering this year after Facebook’s botched Nasdaq listing last month.

The palm oil producer successfully priced Asia’s biggest deal this year at 4.55 ringgit per share, or $1.43, near the high end of its indicated price range of 4 ringgit to 4.65 ringgit, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Thursday. The shares are scheduled to start trading in Kuala Lumpur on June 28.

The high-profile deal came after a recent series of I.P.O.s in Asia and elsewhere were withdrawn or postponed due to slumping markets. Those included a planned $3 billion offering by Formula One in Singapore and a $1 billion Hong Kong share sale by Britain’s Graff Diamonds.

Felda, which is being privatized by the Malaysian government, was selling 1.92 billion shares to institutional investors at the offer price and 273 million shares to retail investors at a 2 percent discount, according to its prospectus.

Of the total I.P.O. proceeds of 9.93 billion ringgit, or $3.12 billion, about 55 percent will go to the government, which sold off a 33 percent stake, and about 45 percent will go to the company, mainly for the purchase of new plantations. Felda already has about 356,000 hectares, or 880,000 acres, of palm plantations in Malaysia.

The Felda offering is the brightest spot in a gloomy market for new listings in Asia this year. Prior to the deal, total funds raised by I.P.O.’s in Asia, excluding Japan, had declined 68 percent, to $13.9 billion, this year from the period a year earlier, the weakest year-to-date performance since 2009, according to data from Dealogic.

Felda’s success was bolstered by cornerstone investors who bought nearly 20 percent of the I.P.O., the person with knowledge of the deal said. Those included the Qatar investment authority; AIA; Fidelity; Value Partners, a Hong Kong-based funds management firm; and several Malaysian state-affiliated pension funds.

A stake of about 11 percent will go to state governments in Malaysia, while about 13 percent will be offered to foreign and domestic institutional investors. The remaining 19 percent stake is being offered to domestic investors, employees and affiliates of the company, the person said.

CIMB, Maybank and Morgan Stanley are the joint bookrunners for the Felda I.P.O., while the same three plus Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase are the underwriters for the retail offering.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/felda-raises-3-1-billion-in-asias-biggest-i-p-o/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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