Monde Nissin attracts GIC, Fidelity to US$1bil IPO

MANILA: Philippine food maker Monde Nissin Corp is in talks with Singapore state investment fund GIC Pte Ltd and Hong Kong insurer AIA Group Ltd to become cornerstone investors in what could be the country’s biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO), according to people familiar with the matter.

Fidelity International and Capital Group Cos are also in discussions to buy stock in the offering for the Makati-based company, said the people, who asked not to be named as the information is private.

Monde Nissin set a final price of 13.50 pesos per share for its IPO, according to a stock exchange filing. That would put the Philippine food maker on track to raise 48.6 billion pesos (US$1bil or RM4.11bil), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Deliberations are still ongoing and the investor lineup could change, said the people. An external representative for Monde Nissin and representatives for AIA and Fidelity International declined to comment. Representatives for Capital Group and GIC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Monde Nissin, which makes the best-selling Lucky Me! instant noodles in the Philippines and meat alternative Quorn in the UK, started gauging demand for the listing in April, Bloomberg News reported. At 48.6 billion pesos, the IPO will overtake SM Investments Corp.’s 28.8 billion pesos offering in 2005, the Philippines’ biggest to date, the data show.

Monde Nissin’s shares are expected to begin trading on June 7, according to an earlier prospectus. It plans to use the IPO proceeds for purposes including loan repayment and general corporate use, according to an earlier filing.

UBS Group AG, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are the joint global coordinators of the deal. — Bloomberg

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