ST Group Food debuts on Catalist at $0.28, up 7.7% from IPO price

SINGAPORE - ST Group Food Industries Holdings - which holds exclusive regional franchise and licence rights for food and beverage (F&B) brands such as Gong-Cha, Ippudo and PappaRich - made its debut on the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) Catalist board at $0.28 on Wednesday (July 3), up two cents, or 7.7 per cent from its IPO (initial public offering) price of $0.26.

As at 10.57am on Wednesday, shares in ST Group Food were trading flat at $0.275. Some 12.5 million shares changed hands, making it one of the most heavily traded counters on the Singapore bourse for the day in early morning trade.

Headquartered in Australia, the group also owns franchise and licence rights to brands including NeNe Chicken and Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart. The SGX debutant's outlets however, are mainly in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the UK, with none in Singapore.

ST Group has raised $9.6 million through its IPO, following the successful placement of 30.1 million shares and the issuance of 6.9 million new shares to cornerstone investors, the group said. There was no public offer.

Said Saw Tatt Ghee, executive chairman and CEO of ST Group: "We have grown tremendously since the opening of our first PappaRich restaurant in Melbourne, Australia in 2012, to a network of 101 outlets comprising 38 group-owned outlets and 63 outlets owned, and operated by our sub-franchisees and sub-licensees, as at May 31, 2019.

"We have also successfully expanded our portfolio to include six internationally popular F&B brands and two of our own brand concepts. Our listing is a significant development in our corporate journey, which will provide a platform for ST Group to embark on business expansion... while enhancing the visibility of our brands across our key geographical markets."

Added Mohamed Nasser Ismail, head of equity capital markets at SGX: "We are pleased to welcome ST Group Food Industries Holdings Limited to the Catalist. It is a reputable F&B group with a diversified portfolio of well-known brands, many of which investors will be familiar with.

"As increasing disposable incomes and tourism continue to drive F&B demand, investors will be able to tap into the opportunities arising from the company's plans to expand its franchise network and introduce new brands in existing and new markets."

With a market cap of about $64 million, the listing of ST Group brings the total number of consumer companies listed on SGX to 143, with a combined market cap of about $92 billion.

SGX has had eight F&B listings since 2015, with four listings over the past two years. They added a market cap of more than $1.1 billion to the bourse, and raised a total of $218 million in capital.