Deals - Asia

Thailand's Central Retail close to securing IPO cornerstone investors: sources

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thailand’s largest retailer, Central Retail Corp, is close to securing cornerstone investors for an initial public offering worth up to $2.7 billion, making it the country’s biggest ever listing, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. Controlled by the billionaire Chirathivat family’s Central Group, Central Retail’s IPO is attracting strong interest toward the lower half of the IPO’s indicative price range of 40-48 baht($1.32-$1.59), said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Central Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The IPO, first announced in July, comes after Thailand took the top spot in Southeast Asia in 2019 with $4 billion in fundraisings, according to Refinitiv data. A slew of large issues are in the pipeline for this year.

Two of the sources said Central Retail’s IPO price band is likely to be narrowed to 40-43 baht per share but there is no decision yet. Sources said the company was expected to close out the cornerstone tranche and set the IPO’s final price later on Wednesday or on Thursday.

Central Retail’s IPO opens on Jan 29. It will offer 1.69 billion shares and an overallotment option of 169 million shares.

As part of its listing plans, Central Group is delisting its retail business, Robinson Pcl ROBINS.BK and offering a share swap to Robinson's existing shareholders.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Scott Murdoch; Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok; Editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman