Filinvest-backed REIT firm clears SEC hurdle for P14.9-B IPO

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
Filinvest-backed REIT firm clears SEC hurdle for P14.9-B IPO
Filinvest earlier set its REIT portfolio to include office buildings for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City in Alabang and Filinvest Cyberzone in Cebu City.
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MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, July 8, 2021 10:30 a.m.) — Gotianun-led Filinvest Land Inc. has secured a regulatory clearance to proceed with the planned maiden share sale of its own real estate investment trust company, joining other property giants in the country’s growing REIT club.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it approved the planned initial public offering of Filinvest REIT Corp., formerly Cyberzone Properties Inc. The Filinvest-backed REIT firm would sell 1.6 billion common shares to the public for the first time at a price of up to P8.30 each, with an option to sell an additional 163,418,785 shares if there’s robust investor appetite for the offer.

The SEC released the announcement a few hours after the stock market closed. On Tuesday, shares in Filinvest Land gained 0.90% to close at P1.12 each.

Including the overallotment option, Filinvest REIT is poised to rake in P14.35 billion in net proceeds from the jumbo IPO, which is set to begin on July 26 until August 3 assuming there are no changes to the schedule the company submitted to the SEC. The REIT firm is targeting to make its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange on August 12.

Filinvest REIT’s parent will receive all the proceeds from the share sale, the SEC said. Under the country’s REIT law, capital raised from the offer must be reinvested by managing or acquiring more income-generating property assets like malls, offices and warehouses. At least 90% of income from these ventures are required to be declared as dividends with shareholders.

Filinvest REIT’s current portfolio includes 17 office buildings with an aggregate gross leasable area (GLA) of 299,158 square meters for office spaces and 2,204 square meters for retail. The office spaces primarily cater to the information technology and business process outsourcing industry in Alabang and Cebu.

Over a decade since the REIT law was enacted, REIT firms are proving to be a successful investment vehicles in the country and have been providing investors a shelter amid the coronavirus storm. Last year, Ayala-backed AREIT Inc., the country’s first REIT firm, defied pandemic uncertainties when it raised P13.6 billion. DoubleDragon Properties Corp.’s DDMP REIT Inc. kicked off this year’s IPO season with a P14.7 billion share sale.

Apart from Filinvest REIT, there are two more REIT IPOs in the pipeline: a P26.7-billion offer from Robinsons Land Corp.’s RL Commercial REIT Inc. and a plan by Megaworld Corp.’s MREIT Inc., which is looking to raise P27.3 billion in fresh capital in what would be the biggest REIT IPO in the country so far.


Editor's note: This story was amended to reflect the correct timetable provided by Filinvest for the IPO and listing of its REIT firm.

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