Hock Lian Seng IPO

Interested? Take note of the closing date of this IPO. I'm not really familiar with the company, Hock Lian Seng. From what I read in the news the last year profit margin was less than 10%. I'm not sure whether it's a norm for a civil engineering company. Not that appealing for me...

Civil engineering group Hock Lian Seng (HLS) Holdings is planning to raise S$27.5 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Singapore Exchange.

One of the major projects undertaken by HLS Holdings includes a new train station near Marina Bay. Its other major projects include contracts from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the Housing & Development Board and PSA Singapore Terminals.

The company hopes its listing will position it to secure more and larger scale projects.

Chua Leong Hai, founder and chairman, HLS Holdings said: "In order for us to grow, we can't be just like a private family business anymore. Getting listed will boost our corporate image and help us to expand and attract more talent."

The company is also hoping to take advantage of an improving market sentiment. Since 2000, it had put off its IPO plans twice due to unfavourable market sentiments.

HLS Holdings is offering 110 million shares at 25 Singapore cents each. Only 2.2 million shares will be offered to the public, and the remainder will be placed out.

At 25 Singapore cents a share, the IPO is priced at a historical price earnings ratio of approximately 6.4 times, based on its net earnings per share for the financial year ended 31 December 2008.

HLS Holdings said it plans to use the proceeds to acquire a central workshop, to buy equipment and machinery, and for working capital.

The group expects the outlook for the sector to be boosted by public infrastructure projects worth over S$30 billion in the next two years.

"In terms of volume of work, we are confident the next few years is going to be very strong, particularly for our company because we are infrastructure-based," said Lim Peng Kiat, group GM, HLS Holdings.

HLS Holdings said its order books stand at S$630 million as of October. Last year, the company made a profit of S$15.5 million - up about 50 per cent on-year - on revenues of nearly S$195 million.

The IPO closes on December 17, and trading is expected to start on December 21.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Hock Lian Seng to launch IPO to raise S$27.5m".



Update on 18/12: the result of IPO subscription. Seems quite positively received? Hmm...let's see how its first day trading next Monday then.

The initial public offering (IPO) of civil engineering firm Hock Lian Seng Holdings (HLS) has received strong investor support, with its share offering being nearly six times subscribed.

The company has raised approximately S$25.6 million from the IPO.

By the application deadline on Thursday, there were 8,286 valid applications for over 555 million shares worth some S$139 million.

HLS' IPO of 110 million shares, excluding over-alloted shares, consisted of a public offer of 2.2 million shares and a placement tranche of 107.8 million shares.

Among the institutional investors that have gained a stake in the company are Whitefield Capital Management, which has been allotted 10 million shares, representing approximately 9.1 per cent of the total invitation size.

The company's mainstay business has been construction of public sector projects. One of the company's major projects is the construction of a new train station near Marina Bay.

Its other major projects included contracts from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the Housing and Development Board and PSA Singapore Terminals.

HLS CEO Chua Leong Hai said that the overwhelming response to its IPO is encouraging and the company will bid for new large-scale projects to strengthen its market position and to enhance shareholder value.

Trading of the new shares on the Singapore Exchange's Mainboard will commence on Monday.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Hock Lian Seng's IPO receives strong investor support".



Update on 21/12: Not bad (but not that impressive, either), the counter closed at $0.29 (compare to its IPO price of $0.25).

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