Reach Energy locks in cornerstones for IPO - sources

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:02pm EDT

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Reach Energy Bhd, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with no existing assets, has locked in up to seven cornerstones for its 750 million ringgit ($236.93 million) IPO, two sources involved with the deal said.

The IPO could mark Malaysia's largest listing by a shell company with no assets. A SPAC is set up with the intention of buying firms that will be later folded into the business.

The cornerstone investors will take up about 150 million ringgit of the offer, the sources said. The cornerstones include pilgrim fund Lembaga Tabung Haji, CIMB Principal Asset Management, Hong Leong Asset Management and Malaysia's infrastructure firm MTD Capital, the sources added.

So-called cornerstone investors are important to the success of an IPO, allowing the underwriters to show potential institutional investors that the deal already has solid financial backing. In return, cornerstones receive preferential shares.

But unlike many other IPO deals in Malaysia, cornerstone investors in Reach are not subject to a lock-up period, according to the sources.

Reach is scheduled to debut on the local bourse Aug 15, the sources added.

The sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media. Reach representatives were not immediately available to comment.

The SPAC, led by Shahul Hamid Mohd Ismail who used to helm Malaysia-listed Shell Refining Company Bhd, is looking to buy firms involved in Asia's oil and gas exploration and production sector, according to the draft prospectus.

The IPO comprises 1 billion shares at an issue price of 75 sen each. The offer comes with 1 billion free detachable warrants on the basis of 1 warrant for 1 share subscribed.

Hong Leong Investment Bank is the principal adviser, placement agent and underwriter.

($1 = 3.1655 Malaysian Ringgit)

(Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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