Shares of I-Tail Corp Plc, the country’s biggest pet food maker, closed below their initial public offering (IPO) price on their first trading day on the Stock Exchange of Thailand after the second-biggest IPO of the year.
The shares jumped 5.5% to 33.75 baht shortly after the morning session opened on Friday but profit-taking pushed the price down to 31.00 baht at the close. The unit of the multinational frozen and seafood products maker Thai Union Group Plc raised 21.1 billion baht after selling 660 million shares at 32 baht each, the top of the indicated range. It was the largest debut on the SET since Thai Life Insurance raised some 34 billion baht in July.
The offering marks a year of some resilience for Thailand’s IPO market, as improving sentiment toward local equities and the participation of local investors saw the execution of several deals even as they vanished in traditional venues. About $3.2 billion was raised in IPO proceeds in the country this year, a 20% annual drop that compares with a 44% plunge across Southeast Asia and a 70% decline in Hong Kong.
I-Tail’s line of products include mini-pouch tuna flakes and vitamin drinks for cats and dogs, according to its website. The company aims to use part of the proceeds for business expansion and debt repayment. In the first nine months of the year, the company posted net income of 3.8 billion baht, a 170% jump versus the same period last year.
The global pet food market will continue its strong growth momentum as pet owners are willing to pay a premium price for more functional and nutritious food, I-Tail said in a statement.
About 60% of the companies that listed on the SET during the past five years after IPOs of at least $100 million finished their first session at a higher price than they listed, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Other large IPOs in the local pipeline include SCG Chemicals Plc, and the retailers CJ Express Group Co and Big C Supercenter Plc.