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Del Monte issuing $250-m shares

Fruit grower and canner Del Monte Pacific Ltd. is pushing through with its plan to raise $250 million from the issuance of dollar-denominated preferred shares.

Del Monte said in a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange it would issue 15 million preferred shares with an oversubscription of up to 10 million common shares at an offering price of $10 apiece.

The company set the offering period from March 22 to March 28 and the listing date  on April 7.

Del Monte plans to use the proceeds from the offering to primarily pay the outstanding bridge loan facility extended by BDO Unibank Inc.

The shares will come from the 36 million dollar-denominated preferred shares earlier approved for sale by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The balance of 11 million shares will be placed under shelf registration to be issued within the next three years.

The issuance of dollar-denominated preferred shares is in line with the company’s thrust to convert a substantial amount of short- to medium-term loan into longer maturities to significantly improve Del Monte’s current liquidity ratio.

The dollar-denominated preferred shares set to be listed with the PSE will be the first to be listed with the local bourse.

BDO Capital & Investments Corp is the sole issue manager. Joint underwriters include ChinaBank Capital Corp.,  PNB Capital and RCBC Capital Corp.

The PSE last year issued the rules on the issuance of dollar-denominated securities as part of a plan to expand its product offerings.

Del Monte booked a net profit of $8.5 million in the quarter ending January 2017, a turnaround from a net loss of $4.8 million year-on-year, as higher sales out of Asia offset lower revenue from the US business.

Del Monte booked a net income of $19.9 million in the nine-month period ending January, lower than $32.3 million on year due to non-recurring items.

The group owns the Del Monte brand in the Philippines for processed products where it enjoys leading market shares for canned pineapple juice and juice drinks, canned pineapple and tropical mixed fruits, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and tomato ketchup.

Topics: Del Monte Pacific Ltd.
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