Philippines National Grid Taps Banks For $1.5b IPO

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines has picked banks to work on its initial public offering and has increased its targeted size to at least $1.5 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter, paving the way for the biggest listing in the nation’s history.

The high-voltage electricity network operator, commonly known as NGCP, has selected Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Group AG to work on the first-time share sale, said the people, asking not to be named as the process is private. It may also add other banks to help with the listing, they said.

The company aims to raise about $1.5 billion from the IPO though the figure could go as high as $2 billion, the people said. NGCP is seeking a valuation of $8 billion to $10 billion from the share sale, which could happen as soon as the fourth quarter, the people said.

At $1.5 billion, which is higher than Bloomberg News had previously reported, NGCP’s IPO will be the biggest ever in the Southeast Asian nation, surpassing the $1.3 billion Monde Nissin Corp. is seeking to raise in its upcoming first-time share sale. Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.’s, which raked in $621 million in 2013, is the largest in the Philippines to date, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Deliberations are ongoing and details of the offering such as size and timing could still change, the people said. Representatives for Bank of America, JPMorgan, NGCP and UBS declined to comment.

NGCP reached out to bankers to submit proposals for the prospective listing early this year, Bloomberg News reported in January.

Under a law signed in 2008 that granted NGCP the franchise, the network operator is required to make a public offering of at least 20% of its outstanding capital within 10 years from the start of operation.

NGCP was created as the result of a consortium including State Grid Corp. of China winning the 25-year concession to run the nation’s power transmission network in 2007. The company also counts Synergy Grid & Development Phils Inc. President Henry Sy Jr. and Prudential Guarantee & Assurance Inc. chairman Robert Coyiuto Jr. as shareholders.

The power network operator officially started in 2009, according to its website. It has over 21,000 kilometers of transmission lines, 20,000 transmission towers and 140 substations.

The IPO plan comes after the country’s energy regulatory commission denied NGCP’s request to further extend the deadline for the share sale. Senator Win Gatchalian urged the watchdog in October to issue an ultimatum on NGCP to comply with the requirement.



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