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Puregold raises P4.7 billion in private share placement

BusinessWorld logo BusinessWorld 1/17/2019
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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

PUREGOLD Price Club, Inc. raised P4.69 billion through top-up share placement to finance its capital expenditures and potential acquisitions for the year.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the listed supermarket operator said it conducted a share sale consisting of about 104 million common shares at P45 each. This comprises around 3.8% of the company’s total issued and outstanding stock.

The top-up placement price represents a 6.8% discount from the Puregold’s share price of P48.30 on Jan. 16.

Puregold Chairman Lucio L. Co was the sole selling shareholder for the deal, which was done through an overnight book building offering. The transaction was conducted following the approval of its board of directors.

The company engaged Deutsche Bank AG as the placing agent for the transaction.

Sought for details, Puregold Vice-President for Investor Relations John Marson T. Hao said the placement was made by several investors.

“Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, capital expenditure, and potential acquisitions,” the company said.

Mr. Hao said the company has yet to finalize its capex budget for this year.

Puregold announced last year that it will incorporate a new unit that will handle its remittance business, PurePadala, Inc. The unit is intended to operate a cash remittance business for the benefit of shoppers in Puregold stores.

Under PurePadala, OFWs can specify how much of the amount sent will be used for grocery shopping at any Puregold store, how much can be for the payment of utility bills, and how much can be encashed.

Puregold grew its net income attributable to the parent by 18% to P4.62 billion in the first nine months of 2018, driven by a 14% uptick in gross revenues to P102.64 billion. System-wide sales also jumped by 14% to P99.82 billion for the same period.

The company attributed its positive performance for the nine-month period to the passage of the tax reform program, which increased take-home pay and effectively boosted higher consumer spending.

Same store sales growth meanwhile stood at 5.8% for Puregold stores, and 8.8% for S&R outlets.

Incorporated in 1998, Puregold’s core business is to trade goods, particularly consumer products such as canned goods, housewares, toiletries, dry goods, food products, pharmaceutical and medical goods on a wholesale and retail basis.

Shares in Puregold fell by 4.97% or P2.40 to close at P45.90 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.

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