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PSE clears Converge ICT's stock market debut

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - October 1, 2020 - 6:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — All is set for this year's stock market debut of Converge ICT Solutions Inc. after the local bourse cleared on Thursday the broadband services provider's record P41.6 billion initial public offering (IPO).

In a listing notice, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said it approved the Warburg Pincus-backed company's planned maiden sale of over 1.5 billion shares for a maximum price of P24 apiece. The final offer price will be set on October 9.

The company's stocks are targeted to be listed on the PSE's board on October 27, the third for this year after grocer Merry Mart Consumer Corp. and Ayala-backed AREIT Inc. — the first real estate investment trust firm in the country — both went public and braved the pandemic-induced volatility.

"The Exchange’s approval of the public offering and listing of the Company’s shares is subject to its compliance with all of the post-approval conditions and requirements of the Exchange," the PSE said.

The offer period will run from October 13 to October 19. In its application, the broadband firm of Pampanga-based businessman Dennis H. Uy said it plans to use the IPO proceeds to "accelerate our nationwide fiber network rollout."

For this purpose, Converge expects to raise about P11.07 billion from the primary offer of 480,839,941 shares. Of that amount, 90% will be used to expand its fiber network coverage. The balance of 10% will be earmarked for general corporate purposes.

Converge's fiber network is still limited to Luzon, but at the height of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in May, the company registered a record-high of 50,000 new gross residential subscribers, filing documents showed.

The company is expanding its domestic internet backbone to include Visayas and Mindanao in hopes of achieving nationwide coverage by 2021.

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