Deals - Asia

Philippines' AllHome launches $348 million IPO as activity picks up

MANILA/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Philippines' AllHome Corp HOME.PS launched an IPO of up to 18.1 billion pesos ($348 million) on Friday, a term sheet showed, as Southeast Asian market activity gradually picks up from last year's depressed levels.

Fundraising through IPOs has increased in Southeast Asia this year, especially in the real estate and consumer sectors, as investors push up valuations on strong growth prospects.

AllHome, a home furnishing chain owned by the Philippines’ richest man, Manuel Villar, set a price range of 11.50 pesos to 14 pesos ($0.22 to $0.27) per share, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

Villar, a former presidential candidate, has interests in real estate, shopping malls, retail and gaming.

“AllHome is riding on real estate and the Philippine economy’s growth,” said Robert Ramos, senior vice-president and trust officer of Eastwest Bank in Manila. “AllHome is already entrenched. They have that advantage.”

The Philippines remains one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia though growth is slipping. The Philippine economy grew 5.5% in the April-June period from a year earlier, its weakest in 17 quarters, hurt by delayed budget approval and tepid private sector investment.

The price guidance gives AllHome, which operates 25 home-improvement stores mostly in Manila, a valuation of $827 million to $1 billion.

The company will use the funds to cut debt and open more stores. The books opened on Friday and will close on Sept. 25. Trading of the shares is due to start on Oct. 10.

Philippine firms are stepping up their fundraising in the capital markets this year versus last year, when there was just one IPO that raised about $150 million.

Some companies are set to launch their IPOs later this year. Last month, the hospital unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp MPI.PS filed for an IPO that could raise up to 83.33 billion pesos.

UBS is the sole global co-ordinator, and joint bookrunner with CLSA and Credit Suisse on the AllHome IPO. China Bank Capital and PNB Capital are the local underwriters.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Robert Birsel and Stephen Coates