Ferry company eyes initial public offering this year

Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corp., operator of FasCat ferries, said it plans to go public this year to finance acquisition of new vessels.

APFC president Christopher Pastrana said the company tapped Mabuhay Capital Corp. as its financial advisor for the  planned initial public offering. 

“Right now to be able to achieve our 60 vessels, we need to go public,” said Pastrana.

The company in December signed a P1.8-billion loan agreement with Philippine National Bank for the construction of five new roll-on roll-off vessels.

The five new ferries are part of a modernization drive to complete its goal of operating 30 RoRo vessels by 2020.

The newly designed ferries have incorporated enhanced features for added safety, power efficiency and comfort. Additionally, it uses solar power and has special amenities that are user friendly to the elderly and persons with disabilities. 

“Right now we have 12 vessels in the Philippines. We’re servicing the eastern and western part of the central corridor,” Pastrana said.

“We’re looking at doubling up our routes in the Central Visayas and also tap Mindanao area. We want to open up the Tawi-Tawi-Basilan-Zamboanga area. And also there’s going to be a vessel in Davao to shorten land travel,” Pastrana added.

He said the company would invest $240 million in the 30 RoRo vessels funded by Development Bank of the Philippines,  BDO Unibank Inc., Land Bank of the Philippines, United Coconut Planters Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Asia United Bank and PNB.

He said the company planned to serve between 10 million and 11 million passengers and about 12 million tons of cargo for the additional 30 vessels starting in 2021. 

The company is currently serving over 3 million passengers using the existing 12 vessels. 

Pastrana said APFC expects annual revenues of P4 billion to P5 billion starting in 2021 from last year’s P2 billion. 

FastCat routes include Batangas to Clapan, Mindoro; Bulalacao, Mindoro-Caticlan, Aklan; Matnog, Sorsogon-San Isidro, Northern Samar; Bacolod-Iloilo, Liloan, Leyte-Lipata, Surigao; San Carlos, Negros Occidental-Toledo, Cebu; and Dumaguete, Negros Oriental-Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.

Topics: Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corp. , FasCat , initial public offering , IPO
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