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Housing developer Profriends bags SEC approval to go public

MANILA – Profriends Group Inc has obtained regulatory approval to launch a P7.7-billion initial public offering (IPO).

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) secretary Gerard Lukban said the corporate regulator cleared the property developer's maiden share sale in an en banc meeting yesterday.

Profriends is selling 385.750 million primary common shares, representing 11 percent of the company's outstanding capital stock, at a maximum price of P20 apiece to bankroll the development of projects and finance landbanking initiatives.

The final price will be determined on December 15 while the offer period will run from December 17, 2014 to January 9, 2015. The shares will be listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange on January 14.

First Metro Investments Corp (FMIC) president Roberto Juanchito Dispo had said Profriends may sell 10-15 percent of the company to three regional investors and one local group ahead of the IPO.

The investment banking arm of the Metrobank group and BDO Capital Investments Corp are the joint underwriters for the IPO of Profriends.

The property firm has a landbank of 1,832 hectares comprised of its ongoing projects. Its biggest development is the 1,435-hectare Lancaster New City, straddling General Trias, Kawit and Imus towns in Cavite, offering housing units, office buildings, a commercial center, school and a church.

Since its formation in 1999, Profriends has completed 17 projects totaling 120 hectares, largely located in Cavite.

Eight companies have joined the bourse this year. They are Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc and Trans-Asia Petroleum Corp, which entered the PSE through listing by way of introduction, as well as Double Dragon Properties Corp, Century Pacific Food Inc, SSI Group Inc, Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corp and Xurpas Inc, which conducted first-time share sales.

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