iFast prices private placement at top end of range, raises $105 million

iFast's chief executive Lim Chung Chun. The wealth management platform says it raised gross proceeds of $105 million via the placement on Jan 10, 2022. PHOTO: IFAST CORPORATION

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - IFast Corporation on Tuesday (Jan 11) priced its private placement at $7.50 per share, which is at the top end of its price range.

In a bourse filing, the wealth management platform said it raised gross proceeds of $105 million via the placement on Monday, bringing the total number of shares to be issued to 14 million.

The placement will be used to fund the proposed acquisition of a majority stake in BFC Bank, of which the company said would help accelerate the growth of its overall wealth management business.

On Monday night, The Business Times reported that iFast will be issuing some 10 million to 10.3 million new shares at an indicative price range of $7.30 to $7.50 a share.

iFast has said the actual subscription price will be determined only at the end of the placement exercise, and is dependent on the strength of demand as well as market conditions.

The issue price of $7.50 per share represents a discount of 4.5 per cent to iFast's last closing price of $7.85 last Friday, and a discount of 7.4 per cent to the counter's volume-weighted average price of $8.10 on Jan 7.

The company called for a trading halt on Jan 10 before market open, pending the release of an announcement.

iFast noted that the placement is "well oversubscribed" - it saw over $150 million in total subscription, which was more than double its initial base size of $75 million.

Some $73.4 million of the gross proceeds will be used to fund its proposed acquisition and investment into BFC Bank, while $2.4 million will be used to pay fees related to the placement.

The balance will be used at its discretion for other purposes, including, without limitation, for general corporate and working capital purposes, the company said.

The 14 million new shares will represent 4.8 per cent of the enlarged issued and paid-up share capital of iFast. The company expects the placement to be completed five days after all the placement conditions have been satisfied or waived.

iFast noted that one of the anchor investors in the placement is Mr Lee Thiam Wah, who subscribed a total of $51 million in the company's shares. Mr Lee is the founder and major shareholder of 99 Speed Mart, one of iFast's consortium partners in its application for a digital bank licence in Malaysia.

The group announced on Jan 7 that it is looking to acquire an 85 per cent stake in BFC Bank for a total investment amount of £40 million (S$73.6 million). iFast said then that the acquisition will be funded by a combination of internal resources, bank borrowings and fund-raising in the capital markets.

The acquisition will add a digital bank to the company's fintech ecosystem and help the group meet its target of assets under administration of $100 billion earlier than the targeted 2028, said the company.

CGS-CIMB was appointed as the sole placement agent in the placement, while iFast's wholly owned subsidiary iFast Financial was appointed as a sub-placement agent.

Shares of iFast resumed trading on Tuesday. They were down 34 cents, or 4.3 per cent, at $7.51 as at 9.42am.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.