ST Group Food debuts on Catalist at 28 cents

ST Group Food Industries Holdings does not yet operate in Singapore, but holds exclusive regional franchise and licence rights for familiar food and beverage brands such as Gong Cha, Ippudo and PappaRich.
ST Group Food Industries Holdings does not yet operate in Singapore, but holds exclusive regional franchise and licence rights for familiar food and beverage brands such as Gong Cha, Ippudo and PappaRich. ST FILE PHOTO

ST Group Food Industries Holdings listed yesterday at 28 cents - up two cents, or 7.7 per cent, from its initial public offering (IPO) price of 26 cents.

About 15 million shares changed hands, making it one of the most heavily traded counters for the day.

The Australia-based group, which does not yet operate in Singapore, holds exclusive regional franchise and licence rights for familiar food and beverage (F&B) brands such as Gong Cha, Ippudo and PappaRich. It holds similar rights to Nene Chicken and Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart.

But the firm's outlets are mainly in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Britain, with none in Singapore.

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

Executive chairman and chief executive Saw Tatt Ghee said: "We have grown tremendously since the opening of our first PappaRich restaurant in Melbourne in 2012 to a network of 101 outlets, comprising 38 group-owned outlets and 63 owned and operated by our sub-franchisees and sub-licensees.

"We have also successfully expanded our portfolio to include six internationally popular F&B brands and two of our own brand concepts."

Mr Mohamed Nasser Ismail, the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) head of equity capital markets, said: "As increasing disposable incomes and tourism continue to drive F&B demand, investors will be able to tap the opportunities arising from the company's plans to expand its franchise network and introduce new brands in existing and new markets."

ST Group has a market cap of about $64 million. Its listing brings the total number of consumer companies on the SGX to 143, with a combined market cap of about $92 billion. The SGX has had eight F&B listings since 2015, with four over the past two years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2019, with the headline 'ST Group Food debuts on Catalist at 28 cents'. Print Edition | Subscribe