Meat retailer North Star Merchants Inc. is in talks with strategic investors for equity investment after the company decided to defer its planned initial public offering, a top executive said Tuesday.
North Star president and chief executive Anthony Ng said the company had received strong interests from local and foreign investors for possible equity investments.
Ng said he was willing to sell between 10 percent and 20 percent of the company to strategic investors that could provide not only cash to finance expansion but also the platform for future growth.
He said despite possible entry of strategic investors, he remained keen on listing North Star in 2023 or when market conditions improved.
North Star will continue to ramp up expansion as it aims for a higher valuation for the IPO, he said.
North Star decided in June to defer its P4.5-billion IPO, after obtaining regulatory approvals because of market volatility.
“It was a very providential move to defer the IPO because of current market conditions. But we remain interested in pushing through with our IPO,” Ng said.
The meat vendor was supposed to offer up to 392 million common shares with an option for another 58 million in over-allotment shares. The IPO shares were priced at up to P10 apiece.
North Star recently inaugurated a new solar energy project in its manufacturing facility in Guiguinto, Bulacan. It will cover the two storage buildings of North Star’s plant, with about 11,176 square meters to drive supply chain cost efficiencies within its operations.
The project will result in a 15-percent reduction its monthly power expenses and 23-percent offset in carbon footprint.
“North Star believes that its initiatives toward sustainable solutions will immensely contribute in continuously providing safe, quality, and affordable meat products to its customers,” the company said.
North Star is the largest end-to-end fresh frozen meat retailer operating in all SM Markets, WalterMart and Alfamart across the Philippines.