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Rebisco mulling over initial public offering

Republic Biscuit Corp., the snack food company of the Ng family, is mulling over plans to go public, after the group’s banking unit secured clearance to list with the Philippine Stock Exchange. Rebisco director Jacinto Ng Jr. said an initial public offering was something the company might consider to undertake. Ng, however, said there was still no definite timetable yet for the IPO. “The current strong consumer spending is one factor that is tempting us to list. Unfortunately, the organization is not yet ready,” he said. Ng said the Rebisco group needed to prepare before going public. Rebisco, which is based in Novaliches, Quezon City, is the manufacturer of Rebisco cracker sandwiches as well as a variety of snack food ranging from nuts and seeds, cakes, wafer sticks, chips, curls, candies and gums. The Rebisco group includes other food companies such as JBC Food Corp., Suncrest Foods Inc., Multirich Food Corp., Pinnacle Foods Inc. and SPI Corp. The Ng family has interests in banking and property development. It has a minority stake in Belle Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr., which is developing a casino project in Parañaque City. Ng said the group planned to expand in the tourism sector and was looking at prime destinations in the country, including Palawan, Manila, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay for possible expansion. The Ng group’s Earth and Style Corp. develops suburban housing communities for the middle-income market and the overseas Filipino workers’ market. The Ng group also owns the Oakwood building in Ortigas Center, which houses a full-service hotel and serves as the headquarters of the Asia United Bank, the group’s banking unit. The group is pushing ahead with the listing of AUB next month.  AUB plans to raise P7 billion to P9.7 billion through the sale of 88 million common shares, including 8 million shares to cover the overallotment option. The bank set an indicative price of P80 to P110 per share. AUB said it would use the proceeds from the IPO to expand its branch network by 250 over the next five years. AUB had network of 117 branches in Metro Manila and key cities throughout the Philippines as of December 2012.  These included 28 branches acquired from Asiatrust Bank. The bank said it planned to open 20 new branches in Metro Manila in 2013 and 33 in 2014, as well as 25 new branches outside Metro Manila in 2013 and 10 in 2014.
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