D&L eyes maiden bond offering

(The Philippine Star) - March 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — D&L Industries is looking to raise P3 billion to P5 billion from a maiden bond offering.

The bonds will have a tenure of three to five years.

Final details of the issuance, including interest rates, will be finalized together with the company’s underwriters.

The proceeds from the bond issuance will primarily be used to finance the company’s expansion plans in Batangas which involves a total estimated capex of P8 billion and the corresponding working capital requirements. Construction started in late 2018 and completion is expected by the end of the year. Remaining capex to be deployed for the project is about P4 billion.

Once completed, the new plant will be instrumental to the company’s future growth, in line with plans to develop more high value-added coconut-based products and penetrate new international markets. It will mainly cater to D&L’s growing export business in the food and oleochemicals segment. It will add the capability to manufacture downstream packaging, thus allowing the company to capture a bigger part of the production chain.

While the company primarily sells raw materials to customers in bulk, the new plants will allow it to “pack at source”. This means that D&L will have the ability to process the raw materials and package them closer to finished consumer-facing products. This will enable D&L to move a step closer to its customers by providing customized solutions and simplifying their supply chain, which is of high importance given global logistical challenges and concerns.

“With interest rates still remaining low, we believe it’s an opportune time to tap the debt market. Our maiden bond offering will be a useful financial exercise for the company and will allow flexibility for future opportunities we can potentially take advantage of,” said president and CEO Alvin Lao.

“With earnings growing by eight percent YoY in 4Q20, which likely signifies the inflection point in earnings growth, we believe that the worst is over and we are in a very good position to further recover as the economy continues to reopen. The resiliency that the company showed last year highlights the relevant nature of our businesses’ catering to basic industries, and our operational adeptness as even in the worst of times, even at the peak of the lockdown, we never saw our net income turn negative. We believe that the future growth prospects of the business remain strong and we look forward to our new plant coming online by the end of the year,” Lao said.

As of end-December 2020, the company remained lightly-geared with net gearing at 17 percent and interest cover at 18x. Average cost of debts, which were all short-term, stood at 3.53 percent. Post bond offering, the company estimates its net gearing and interest cover to reach 42 percent and 11x, respectively.

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