Malaysia's Farm Fresh seeks to raise $238 mln in March IPO

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Farm Fresh Berhad plans to raise 1 billion ringgit ($238.10 million) from its initial public offering (IPO) next month, having secured 30 cornerstone investors, the Malaysian dairy producer said on Monday.

Upon listing on March 22, the company is expected to have a market capitalisation of 2.5 billion ringgit.

Farm Fresh said it has secured the backing of a record number of cornerstone investors in a Malaysian IPO, with 30 local and regional asset management firms, insurers and funds such as AIA, JPMorgan Asset Management, Employees Provident Fund and Value Partners Hong Kong.

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The investors will take up about 80% of the institutional offering portion in the IPO, the integrated producer of dairy goods said in a statement after launching its IPO prospectus.

The IPO involves a sale of up to 520.2 million existing shares and a public issue of 223 million new shares based on the initial retail price of 1.35 ringgit per share.

Farm Fresh said about 301 million ringgit of the IPO proceeds will be utilised to build a manufacturing hub, dairy farm and integrated processing facility in Malaysia to expand a production facility in Australia, and also for regional expansion.

"Post-listing, Farm Fresh will endeavour to execute our plans to continue gaining market share and growing our sales in Malaysia and abroad," Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Loi Tuan Ee said.

($1 = 4.2000 ringgit)

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Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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