Hong Leong-backed real estate firm launches IPO of 34.05 million shares at $1.50 per share

A PROPERTY developer with links to Hong Leong Group is launching an initial public offering (IPO) on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange.

First Sponsor Group, a developer and owner of residential and commercial properties in China, launched its IPO of 34.05 million shares at $1.50 per share on Thursday.

The company said in a statement that it is also a provider of property financing services with a focus in Shanghai.

At the IPO price of $1.50, with a post-invitation share capital of 589,814,949 shares, the estimated net proceeds will come in at about $59.7 million.

Its market capitalisation immediately after listing is expected to be some $884.7 million

First Sponsor's key controlling shareholders are Hong Leong Group Singapore and Tai Tak Estates Sendirian Berhad.

Hong Leong has a stake in First Sponsor through its shareholding interests in Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

First Sponsor's chief executive Neo Teck Pheng said: "The proposed listing of the Group on the SGX-ST is timely, as we embark on our next phase of growth and are ready to further enhance our visibility and profile."

Hong Leong Group Singapore executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng said its investment in First Sponsor is one of several engines of its strategy in China.

Its other units include: Hong Leong Holdings, Hong Leong International (Hong Kong) Ltd and CDL China.

Mr. Kwek added: "We remain optimistic about the medium to long-term prospects of the PRC property sector. The mass market segment in particular is exciting for us.

"We are delighted to continue to partner Tai Tak through First Sponsor as we further expand our operations in China. Tai Tak has been our long-term partner in Australia. We have great respect for each other."

The public offer will open on Friday Jul 11 and will close at noon on Thursday Jul 17.

Listing and trading of First Sponsor's shares is expected to commence at 9am Jul 22.

DBS Bank is the Sole Financial Adviser, Issue Manager, Placement Agent and Underwriter for FSGL's IPO, while United Overseas Bank Limited is the Co-Manager and Sub-underwriter for the IPO.