Billionaire Kuok’s Kerry Logistics said to eye Thai unit IPO

SINGAPORE: Kerry Logistics Network Ltd, backed by Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok, is considering an initial public offering of its Thai business, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Bangkok IPO could raise US$200mil to US$300mil, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

The offering could take place as soon as the first half of 2019, one of the people has said.

Kerry Logistics’ planned offer would accompany a number of big-ticket IPOs that may take place in Thailand next year, including that of state-owned energy giant PTT Pcl’s retail oil business, TCC Group’s Asset World Corp property unit and Central Group’s retail assets.

Investors have snapped up first-time share sales in the country this year despite a rout in global equity markets.

An external spokesperson for Kerry Logistics declined to comment in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries.

“We shall provide updates about our business developments and plans in the form of public announcement or press release,” according to the email.

Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics, part of Kuok’s Kerry Properties Ltd, provides logistics, freight forwarding and supply chain services, according to its website.

In Thailand, the group also owns Kerry Siam Seaport, a deep sea port serving the industrial estates on Thailand’s eastern seaboard and in the Greater Mekong Region.

It also owns Kerry Express, which it says is the second-largest express delivery operator in Thailand.

VGI Global, the media unit of Bangkok’s elevated metro operator BTS Group Holdings, said earlier this year it would take a 23% stake in Kerry Express (Thailand) for 5.9 billion baht (US$181mil).

The deal would allow Kerry Express to set up kiosks and counters in Skytrain stations to collect parcels.

Kerry Logistics chairman George Yeo said last month that trade diversions will benefit countries in South-East Asia while China’s One Belt, One Road policy will open more opportunities for Kerry in terms of new markets and routes.

Discussions for the Thai IPO are at an early stage, and it isn’t immediately clear which parts of Kerry Logistics’ operations in the country would be included in the offer, the people said.

Details including the size and timing of the offer may change, they said.

Robert Kuok is Malaysia’s richest man with a net worth of US$16bil, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His unlisted family-owned holding company, Kerry Group Ltd, controls Hong Kong-listed Kerry Properties Ltd.

Kerry Properties and Kerry Group own almost 66% of Kerry Logistics, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. — Bloomberg


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