Viz Branz to postpone IPO

Viz Branz has made an unexpected decision to postpone an initial public offering on the Singapore Exchange.
Viz Branz has made an unexpected decision to postpone an initial public offering on the Singapore Exchange.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Home-grown coffee and cereal beverage maker Viz Branz has made an unexpected decision to postpone an initial public offering (IPO) on the Singapore Exchange, just a week after it filed a preliminary prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Market sources said they were told by e-mail yesterday to inform clients that "the books were covered". However, Viz Branz's controlling shareholder had decided to postpone the IPO "due to after-market considerations".

No indication was given on how long the postponement period would be.

Spokesmen for Credit Suisse and Maybank Kim Eng, which are the joint issue managers and underwriters, declined to comment.

Viz Branz, which started investor roadshows last week, was slated to price its offering yesterday, and debut on the mainboard on April 3, Bloomberg had reported last week.

Some in the market had questioned if the IPO was overpriced.

Bloomberg reported in January that Viz Branz was seeking a valuation of at least $700 million - more than double its $289 million valuation when it was delisted less than four years ago.

Viz Branz's controlling shareholder Ben Chng - also its chief executive - took the firm private in September 2013. Viz Branz said it has grown since and focused on boosting its China distribution network.

The firm, set up in 1988, is known for its instant beverage products under the Gold Roast and Cafe 21 brands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Viz Branz to postpone IPO'. Print Edition | Subscribe