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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Del Monte Pacific sets fresh fund-raising to retire debt

Del Monte Pacific Ltd (DMPL) is selling preferred shares in December to settle debt incurred for the acquisition of the company that owns the Del Monte brands rights in the United States and South America.

In a preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fruit canner and grower said it is raising $360 million from the sale of 36 million preferred shares at an offer price of up to $10 per share. The shares have a par value of $1 apiece.

Dividend on the preferred shares will be at a fixed rate of 5.25-7 percent per annum

The share sale will commence on December 3 or 8 and end on December 12. The shares will be listed on the Main Board of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

BDO Capital & Investment Corp was tapped as the issue manager, lead underwriter and book runner of the offering.

Estimated net proceeds of $351.41 million will be used to refinance a $350-million bridge loan from BDO Unibank Inc and the balance will be allotted to partially repay a $15.6-million short-term loan from Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.

The loans were used to partly bankroll the acquisition of US-based Del Monte Food Corp's consumer food business, which was renamed Del Monte Foods Inc (DMFI), and offer-related costs. DMPL purchased DMFI last February for $1.68 billion.

The preferred share sale is part of a series of equity fundraising initiatives aiming to reduce DMPL's borrowings by approximately $520 million. After the planned preferred share sale and recently completed sale of common shares, the company will undertake a rights offer.

DMPL completed this week a P93.50-million fund-raiser through the issuance of common shares, also to partially repay short-term debt used for the acquisition of DMFI. The share sale was oversubscribed, the company said in a disclosure today.

The target date of listing of the common shares on the PSE and the Singapore Exchange is on October 30.

DMPL lost $21.9 million in the May to July period, which corresponds to the first quarter of the fiscal year of DMFI, due to higher interest expense.

- Interaksyon

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