Maynilad starts IPO preparations, eyes 2026 listing

WEST ZONE concessionaire  Maynilad Water Services, Inc. has started preparations for an initial public offering (IPO), aiming for a listing by 2026 at the earliest, the company’s president said.

“It has to happen on or before January of 2027, so we’re looking at anywhere between after the elections or early 2026,” Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez said on the sidelines of an event in Bulacan on Tuesday.

Mr. Fernandez said that the company is “still crunching the numbers together with our advisors.”

“The paperwork has started; it has already moved,” he said in Filipino.

Republic Act No. 11600, signed into law on Dec. 10, 2021, granted Maynilad a 25-year legislative franchise until 2047 to establish, operate, and maintain a waterworks system and sewerage and sanitation services in the west zone service area of Metro Manila and Cavite province.

The law also states that Maynilad should offer at least 30% of its outstanding capital stock within five years from the grant of the franchise.

“It’s challenging to pinpoint, as it’s a mix of political, social, and economic factors, with investors also considering factors like sentiment and stability,” Mr. Fernandez said when asked about the timing of the IPO after the elections.

Sought for comment, Chinabank Capital Corp. Managing Director Juan Paolo E. Colet said that Maynilad has “the fundamentals for an appealing IPO.”

“They just have to get two things right — the investment story and the timing,” he said in a Viber message.

“They can improve their IPO narrative by clearly laying out how they plan to grow. It would also help a lot if they come up with a compelling overseas expansion strategy.”

He said that conducting an equity offering in the next two years should give the company “an ample horizon to properly time their stock market debut.”

“A full dovish monetary policy path in 2025 to 2026 that is supportive of economic growth should be favorable for the IPO market,” he said.

Maynilad is currently seeking an extension of its revised concession agreement with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System from May 6, 2037, to Jan. 21, 2047, to coincide with the term of its legislative franchise.

The company serves Manila, except portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon.

It also supplies the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in Cavite province.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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