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CASA eyes P558 million from share sale

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Sugar miller Central Azucarera de San Antonio Inc. (CASA) is set to raise some P558.47 million in fresh cash through direct public offering of its primary and secondary shares.

In its registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will sell some 277,500 common shares, or 15 percent of the company’s issued and outstanding common shares, at an offer price of P2,012.52 apiece.

The offer consists of 214,571 common shares in primary offering and 62,929 common shares in secondary offer that will come from the existing shareholders of the company, mainly the Chan family, who owe their fortunes to sugar milling in Iloilo since the pre-war period.

The company engaged SB Capital Investment Corp. as the issue manager and underwriter for the transaction.

Direct public offer involves selling of shares only through SB Capital. It will not be listed at any exchange.

It placed a minimum subscription of 100 shares and increments of 10 shares thereafter.

The company is authorized to distribute dividends out of its surplus profit. Dividends paid in the form of cash or property is subject to the approval of its board.

A chunk of the net proceeds from the offer will be used to upgrade the company’s 15-megawatt cogeneration facility, motor pool and sugar factory, as well as for land acquisition.

The company was organized in February 2003 with its primary office in Makati and sugar milling facilities in Passi City in Iloilo. It is mainly engaged in sugar milling and selling of any by-products generated by its facilities to other entities. The company started its commercial operations on October 1, 2008. Its shareholders are comprised mainly of members of the Chan family.

CASA’s primary business is sugar milling, with its facilities having a maximum milling capacity of 8,000 tons of cane per day. Its main products are raw sugar and its by-products include sugarcane molasses.

Antonio Steven L. Chan, the brother of singer Jose Marie Chan, founded the company and has been its president since 2008.

On March 31, 2011, the Department of Energy approved the registration of the company as a Renewable Energy Developer of Biomass Energy Resources covered by Biomass Renewable Energy Operating Contract no. 2011-03-021 that took effect on the same date.

CASA was born from the success of Central Azucarera de Bais Inc. (CAB), which is also majority owned by the Chan family, one of the oldest sugar mills in the Philippines. CAB was established in 1918 by Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas, known more popularly as “Tabacalera”.

In 1979, Antonio Chan, then a prominent sugar trader, acquired CAB from the Tabacalera group, signaling his family’s initial foray into sugar milling.

Last year, CAB completed a factory-wide modernization project modeled almost identically after CASA’s technological success.

The company has initiated the expansion of its co-generation facilities with the contemplated 8 MW increase in installed generation capacity. It expects some delays in the completion of the co-generation plant expansion and export of generated electricity. This is due to the delays in the development of the expansion facilities caused by restrictions in the entry of foreign thermal and electrical contractors.

It also expects delays in the completion of required transmission lines by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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