Property company Pro-Friends to IPO in 2014

James Ryan Jonas

Another low-cost housing developer is set to issue shares to the public for the first time, following the announcement of Property Company of Friends (Pro-Friends) that they will conduct an initial public offering before the end of the year.

Pro-Friends is a property development company that started in 1999 and has completed 15 projects so far. They focus on the low-cost housing market segment building affordable subdivisions, townhouses and mid-rise condominiums in Cavite, Iloilo and Metro Manila.

The company is yet to announce the final IPO price, offer period and listing date but lead underwriter First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) said the IPO will most likely occur in September or October 2014.

It is currently seeking approval of the transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

profriendsThe company was said to be previously planning to conduct a backdoor listing instead via Asiatrust Development Bank Inc. Backdoor listing involves an unlisted company such as Pro-Friends acquiring or merging with a listed company such as Asiatrust in order for the unlisted company to issue shares to the public without undergoing an IPO. The plan has since been shelved.

Pro-Friends is said to be mulling to sell around 11% of its shares to the public, proceeds of which will be used for landbanking and expansion, according to FMIC.

Last year, the company is said to have booked revenues of P3.5 billion and expects to earn P5 billion to P6 billion this year.

Pro-Friends’ biggest development is Lancaster New City, a 1,000-hectare residential project spanning General Trias, Kawit and Imus towns in Cavite.

Its other projects include Bellefort Estates, Lancaster Estates, California West Hills, Carmona Estates, Greensborough Subdivision, Las Verandas Villas, Montefaro Village-West and Ridgecrest in Cavite; Monticello Villas and Parc Regency Residences in Iloilo; and Mahogany Mansion in Mandaluyong.

If approved, Pro-Friends will be the third IPO in 2014. It will follow property developer Double Dragon Properties (DD) that IPO’d in April 2014 and meat canning company Century Pacific Foods Inc. (CNPF) that went public in May 2014.

Semiconductor company Phoenix Semiconductor Phils. Corp. (PSPC) has announced plans to conduct an IPO but was rumored to have deferred the share issue due to the so-called August Ghost Month.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.