Central Retail said close to securing IPO investors

Central Retail said close to securing IPO investors

Central Chidlom department store is lit up for the 2020 New Year celebration. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Central Chidlom department store is lit up for the 2020 New Year celebration. (Bangkok Post file photo)

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG: Thailand's largest retailer, Central Retail Corp, is close to securing cornerstone investors for an initial public offering worth up to 82 billion baht, making it the country's biggest ever listing, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Controlled by the billionaire Chirathivat family's Central Group, Central Retail's IPO is attracting strong interest towards the lower half of the IPO's indicative price range of 40-48 baht, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Central Group did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

The IPO, first announced in July, comes after Thailand took the top spot in Southeast Asia in 2019 with $4 billion in fundraisings, according to Refinitiv data. A slew of large issues are in the pipeline for this year.

Two of the sources said Central Retail's IPO price band is likely to be narrowed to 40-43 baht per share but there is no decision yet. Sources said the company was expected to close out the cornerstone tranche and set the IPO's final price later on Wednesday or on Thursday.

Central Retail's IPO opens on Jan 29. It will offer 1.69 billion shares and an overallotment option of 169 million shares.

As part of its listing plans, Central Group is delisting its retail business, Robinson Plc, and offering a share swap to Robinson's existing shareholders. 



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