Recruitment firm HRnetGroup going for $175m IPO on SGX

HRnetGroup plans to start trading on June 16.
HRnetGroup plans to start trading on June 16.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE -HRnetGroup, Singapore's largest recruitment firm, has lodged a preliminary prospectus for a listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange with plans to start trading on June 16.

The group expects to raise up to S$175 million by issuing 194 million new shares at between S$0.80 to S$0.90 per share, according to a term sheet seen by The Straits Times.

There is a greenshoe option, or provision to sell more shares than originanly planned, of 11 million shares, or 1.1 per cent of the enlarged share capital.

This works out to an estimated market cap of up to S$910 million, or up to S$920 million if the greenshoe option is exercised.

More than 50 per cent of the total offer size has already been taken up by seven cornerstone investors.

That leaves 84 million placement shares and 6 million shares on offer to retail investors.

Cornerstone investors include Aberdeen Asset Management, Affin Hwang Asset Management, Credit Suisse on behalf of certain private banking clients, FIL Investment Management (Hong Kong) and Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Company.

TechnoPro, one of Japan's largest technology-focused staffing and service companies, and Jasdaq-listed recruiter en-japan inc, are strategic investors.

HRnetGroup was founded by chairman Peter Sim who set up HRnet One in 1992, with two main businesses in professional recruitment and flexible staffing.

It now operates in 10 Asian cities, namely, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul. In Singapore, the group has a market share of 20.5 per cent, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Last year, HRnetGroup made S$365 million in revenue and S$48.4 million in net profit. All growth has been organic and the group has turned a profit every year except in 1998.

IPO proceeds will be used for business expansion and potential acquisitions. The group had a cash balance of S$106 million as at Dec 31 last year.

The IPO also enables the group to build a co-ownership model, through the "123GROW Plan" that will allow up to 404 employees to become shareholders in the company and be inspired to keep delivering profits.

The group has also implemented the "88GLOW Plan" with 22 individuals that allows them to swap their minority interests in certain group subsidiaries for shares.

Post-IPO, Simco, the Sim family vehicle, will control about 74 per cent of HRnetGroup.

Heliconia Capital Management, a unit of Temasek Holdings, has been a shareholder since last October and will hold roughly 2 per cent post-IPO.

Both the Sim family and Heliconia have agreed to a six-month lock-up period from the listing date.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are joint global coordinators and are also joint underwriters with DBS and Nomura. Credit Suisse is the stabilising manager.