Semiconductor veteran Ricky Lee eyes next IPO with Grand Venture

SINGAPORE - Semiconductor industry veteran Ricky Lee, who played key roles in listing Norelco Centreline Holdings and ETLA, is back for another initial public offering (IPO) as the controlling shareholder of Grand Venture Technology.

Grand Venture, a provider of engineering, assembly and testing services used in semiconductor manufacturing, on Dec 14 lodged a preliminary offer document to list its shares on the Catalist board.

Mr Lee, 57, founded Grand Venture in 2012, and is the company's executive chairman and largest shareholder with a direct and deemed pre-listing stake of about 71.7 per cent. In his earlier years, Mr Lee co-founded Norelco, and left after it merged with UMS Holdings. After that, he joined the precursor of ETLA, which was eventually acquired by what is now called Frencken Group in 2009.

Grand Venture provides manufacturing solutions and services for the semiconductor, analytical life sciences, electronics and other industries, with operations in Singapore, Malaysia and China. According to the preliminary prospectus, the company posted a near doubling of audited revenue to $30.9 million for the 12 months ended Dec 31, 2017, up from $15.8 million a year ago. Its post-tax profit for fiscal 2017 stood at $3.84 million, up from $102,000 the same period a year ago.

Most of its revenue is derived from multinational customers operating in Singapore and Malaysia. Customers include Teradyne, BE Semiconductors Industries, AB Sciex and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Grand Venture said it plans to enlarge its customer base in both existing and new market segments, and is open to expanding its market reach, technological know-how and operational capabilities via mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships. Proceeds of the offering will be used to invest in capabilities, strategic expansion, working capital and to repay bank borrowings.

Concurrent with the IPO, an investment vehicle held on trust for CLSF LLP, the ultimate parent of RSM Corporate Advisory, will take a cornerstone stake in the company. RSM Corporate Advisory has provided corproate advisory services for Grand Venture.

CIMB Bank is the sponsor and issue manager for the Catalist listing.