Ichitan to begin trade Monday

Ichitan Group, a beverage manufacturer and distributor, will begin trade on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Monday under the ICHI symbol.

The company, owned by chairman and CEO Tan Passakornnatee, raised 3.9 billion in its initial public offering (IPO).

ICHI, the fourth new listing on SET this year, is listed in the Food and Beverage sector,  said SET executive vice-president Chanitr Charnchainarong in a statement on Friday.

Ichitan produces and distributes ready-made beverages under the Ichitan brand. They include ready-to-drink green tea, black tea, health-conscious drinks, green tea mixed with herbs and low-sugar beverages.

ICHI commands a 42% market share in the ready-to-drink gree tea market. Its annual capacity was 600 million bottles and 200 million cartons.

ICHI has paid-up registered capital of 1.3 billion baht, 300 million of which are new shares, with a par value of one baht each.

The company offered the new shares through an IPO at 13 baht each during April 8-11 for a total of 3.9 billion baht. Its market capitalisation at the IPO price is 16.90 billion.

Asia Plus Advisory Co Ltd is the company's financial adviser and Asia Plus Securities Plc is its lead underwriter.

"The fund raised will be used to repay loans and as working capital. It will also finance our second-phase factory of which construction has begun since the second quarter of 2013. To be completed this year, the new factory will boost our annual capacity to 1 billion bottles, preparing us for the Asean Economic Community."

Ichitan's three major shareholders after the IPO are Mr. Tan and Mrs. Eng Passakornnatee Group (40.05%), the group's representatives (20.97%) and Yueh-Chin Chiu (4.99%).

At the IPO price, ICHI has a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 19.2 times, calculated from its 2013 net profit of 881.70 million baht, representing earnings per share of 0.70 baht. The P/E was lower than the industry's average ratio of 30 times.

ICHI's dividend policy is to pay no less than 40% of net profit after taxes and reserves.

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