Meat trader files P4.5 billion share sale

Date Posted: March 25, 2022
Publisher: Philstar Global

MANILA, Philippines — North Star Meat Merchants Inc., one of the largest pork and beef vendors in the country, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a registration statement for an initial public offering of up to P4.5 billion.

North Star said it would offer up to 392 million common shares plus an over-allotment option of up to 58 million secondary common shares at a price of up to P10 each.

The company expects to raise roughly P3.5 billion to be used for capital expenditures to expand its cold chain infrastructure, increase working capital primarily to lower cost and to expand North Star’s product lines.

North Star plans to start the offering in June and expects to list before the end of the first half.

Company founder and CEO Anthony Ng is optimistic about North Star’s prospects for growth.

“With increasing demand for fresh and frozen protein, we are keen on accelerating the growth and reach of the company to consistently provide safe, quality, and affordable meat for everyone,” Ng said.

He said North Star is well-positioned to take advantage of a young and growing meat consuming population.

“Due to the pandemic, we believe that consumers have now become more health and safety conscious, affecting what they consume and where they purchase their food. North Star stands to benefit from this change in consumer behavior by being available in 360 supermarkets and 1251 convenience stores nationwide,” Ng said.

North Star registered P9.28 billion in sales last year and has consistently grown with a CAGR of 39.7 percent since 2019.

Its products are available through its retail partners SM Markets and Waltermart Group.

As part of its expansion, North Star will continue to prepare for future potential retail partners.

For the IPO, the company tapped BDO Capital & Investment Corp. as the sole issue manager, and together with China Bank Capital Corp., will act as the joint lead underwriters and bookrunners for the IPO.

“We expect strong interest for this IPO given North Star’s unique focus on the country’s meat sector and food security, its established and longstanding relationships with retail giants such as the SM group and its unmatched scale of operations,” said BDO Capital president Eduardo Francisco.

He said that many investors would be surprised to note that they have actually been consuming North Star’s various fresh and frozen meat products when doing their grocery shopping or dining at certain restaurants and food establishments.