Converge ICT’s IPO gets regulator approval

INTERNET provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.’s initial public offering (IPO), which may raise up to P41.55 billion, has received the go signal from the Securities and Exchange Commission. (SEC).

In a statement on Thursday, the corporate regulator said it approved the application of Converge ICT to raise funds through an IPO and to list its shares at the main board of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The company is planning to offer up to 1,731,064,536 shares, composed of 480,839,941 shares for the primary offering, 1,024,433,569 shares for the secondary offering, and 225,791,026 shares as an overallotment option.

Converge ICT may offer the shares up to P24 each, which would raise about P11.07 billion from the primary offering, and P41.55 billion from the total offering if the overallotment option is maximized.

If the IPO pushes through, Converge ICT would be the second to do a public listing in 2020, after grocery operator MerryMart Consumer Corp.

The company intends to use about 90% of the offer’s net proceeds to support capital expenditures as it expands nationwide. Converge ICT currently offers its services only in Luzon.

Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte. and UBS AG Singapore Branch have been tapped as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the offering. Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd. and Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. will be international joint bookrunners.

For local investors, Converge ICT assigned BPI Capital Corp. as sole local coordinator, and with BDO Capital & Investment Corp., as joint local underwriter and bookrunner. Also acting as local participating underwriters are Asia United Bank Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners, Inc., PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp.

When Converge ICT filed its application with the SEC in July, Bloomberg said the planned IPO — then estimated at P35.92 billion — would be the Philippines’ biggest public offering to date.

Converge ICT is owned by Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony H. Uy. It received a $225-million equity funding from private equity firm Warburg Pincus last year.

The company posted a 45% income growth to P1.26 billion in the first semester. Its revenues jumped 65% to P6.49 billion due to the increase in subscribers to 4.1 million as of June. — Denise A. Valdez

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