After You to list on MAI with 165m-share offering

Dessert cafe After You is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) to investors from Dec 14-16, with trade on the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) to begin by Dec 23.

After You's financial adviser says the sale of shares to institutional investors will help major shareholders avoid the cost of capital gains tax.

The company plans to issue up to 165 million IPO shares to the public at a par value of 10 satang each.

After You will hold a book building by Dec 9 with institutional investors before opening for subscription, said financial adviser Bualuang Securities.

Issara Wanglee, vice-president of Bualuang Securities, said 52.5 million shares will be sold to institutional investors in order to increase free float.

Some 161.5 million shares out of the total will be allocated to the public, including shares intended for creditors who have agreed to convert debt to equity, as well as Thiraphong Chansiri and Rittirong Boonmeechote, who are top executives at the world's largest shelf tuna producer, Thai Union Group.

Moreover, 1.5 million shares have been allocated for the company's director and 2 million shares have been earmarked as stock options for executives and employees.

"There are huge, interested investors looking at the company as it has registered strong growth in the food and beverage sector," he said.

The company's executives have proven themselves through their strong business sense and vision. Their success could be regarded as a phenomenon," Mr Issara added.

Once After You has finished its book building with institutional investors, it will announce the IPO on Dec 13. It will further sign contracts with the underwriter on the same day.

Regarding the big lot selling plan, Mr Issara said all of the major shareholders had agreed to sell the combined 52.5 million shares to local institutional investors at the IPO price.

"This is a bid to increase free float, while the big lot sell will help them avoid the cost of capital gains tax," he said.

President and director Maetup Suwan said the proceeds from After You's listing on the MAI will be used for debt repayment, working capital and expansion.

The company plans to operate a total of 30 branches by 2018, up from 20 at present.

He said next year the company will attempt to maintain its revenue growth at 40%, on par with this year. In 2016 the company expects to generate revenue of 580 million baht -- a 40% increase from 414.9 million a year earlier.

Also, it hopes to maintain its gross margin next year at 63.8% and its net margin at 17%, which are the same levels seen during the first nine months of this year.

Apart from opening new branches, After You plans to launch 6-8 new products each year and further aims to produce dessert and bakery items for other brands.

"We also plan to go abroad through a partnership, but it depends on the opportunities that arise, as we can't say when it will happen," said Mr Maetup.

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