Singapore plastics manufacturer Omni-Plus System makes IPO debut on Tokyo bourse

Omni-Plus System CEO Marcus Neo with the firm's IPO certificate at the listing ceremony in Tokyo on June 29.
Omni-Plus System CEO Marcus Neo with the firm's IPO certificate at the listing ceremony in Tokyo on June 29.ST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

TOKYO - Singapore plastics manufacturer Omni-Plus System (OPS) on Tuesday (June 29) made its initial public offering (IPO) debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

The company, which was founded in 2002 with only two people, designs and sells raw polymer materials to manufacturers for use in their end products.

It counts Dyson, Braun and Nokia among its clients, with its materials found in household appliances, office automation equipment, cars and mobile phones.

OPS is the first Singapore company to list in Tokyo, and just the second foreign firm to list on the TSE Mothers Index for high-growth and emerging stocks.

OPS chief executive Marcus Neo Puay Keong, 55, arrived in Tokyo on June 13 and served two weeks of quarantine ahead of the socially distanced listing ceremony.

He told The Straits Times that the listing was a significant milestone for the firm, which counts among its largest investors Japanese trading house giant Itochu Corp.

"Our advantage as a Singapore firm is that we get to partner many global companies that base their research and development in Asia in the Republic for its English proficiency and respect for intellectual property," said Mr Neo, who is pursuing a part-time PhD at the Yamagata University Graduate School of Organic Materials Science in Japan.

"This is also how we have grown our strengths in Japan where, while there are a lot of polymer manufacturers, they sell only domestically or to their markets in South-east Asia. But they have no connection beyond that due to the language barrier, and in this case we can become a very good trusted bridge between East and West."

At the listing ceremony on Tuesday, a bell was sounded five times in line with a Japanese tradition based on the saying “gokoku hojo”, which translates to “a bumper harvest of the five grains”.

Mr Neo hit the bell twice, with Enterprise Singapore's (ESG) regional group director for North-east Asia Fabian Tan, OPS Japan representative director Naoyuki Shigeta, and OPS Japan investor relations and disclosure manager Shirado Tomoyuki each doing the honours once.

OPS worked with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering as well as ESG to launch its Engineering Centre in Singapore in 2018. The centre now has an in-house materials database of over 500 different formulations, which it sells to its clients. 

The company has proven resilient despite Covid-19, registering a 30 per cent growth in sales in the year ended March to US$249.6 million (S$335.5 million). It is projecting a 42 per cent bump in sales during this fiscal year to US$355.2 million.

It now employs more than 200 employees in eight countries, including China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, and has strategic investments in human capital and digital transformation.

OPS tapped ESG's Scale-up SG programme for help in market expansion. This included access to market intelligence and business partnership connections.

ESG deputy chief executive Ted Tan, congratulating OPS on the milestone, told The Straits Times: "With this listing, the company is well positioned to access new investors and secure longstanding partnerships in Japan's highly advanced manufacturing sector."

He added that the Engineering Centre has helped OPS to "quickly formulate and test new materials to meet the needs of its clients in Japan, as well as globally".

OPS ended its first trading day at 1,440 yen, 50 per cent higher than its IPO price of 960 yen.