HRnetGroup prices IPO at 90 cents a share

HRnetGroup (above) operates two main businesses in professional recruitment and flexible staffing, deriving 75 per cent of revenue from flexible staffing. It is the first recruitment agency to seek a listing on the Singapore Exchange. HRnetGroup exec
HRnetGroup (above) operates two main businesses in professional recruitment and flexible staffing, deriving 75 per cent of revenue from flexible staffing.PHOTO: COURTESY OF HRNETGROUP LIMITED
HRnetGroup (above) operates two main businesses in professional recruitment and flexible staffing, deriving 75 per cent of revenue from flexible staffing. It is the first recruitment agency to seek a listing on the Singapore Exchange. HRnetGroup exec
HRnetGroup executive director Adeline Sim says her firm has always self-funded its growth through strong cash-flow generation, without any debt financing.PHOTO: COURTESY OF HRNETGROUP LIMITED

Recruitment agency expects to raise $166m; more listings to come on mainboard and Catalist

Singapore's largest recruitment agency has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 90 cents a share, at the top end of its indicated price range.

HRnetGroup, the first recruitment agency to seek a listing on the Singapore Exchange, expects to raise net proceeds of $165.8 million and achieve a post-IPO market cap of about $910 million.

The firm operates two main businesses in professional recruitment and flexible staffing, deriving 75 per cent of revenue from flexible staffing. It pulled in $365 million in revenue last year, and a net profit of $41 million.

Executive director Adeline Sim said: "Since inception, we have self-funded our... growth through strong cashflow generation, without the need for any debt financing."

Analyst Sumeet Singh noted on research platform Smartkarma: "The company has paid out $159 million worth of dividends to shareholders over 2014 to 2016 and still remains in net cash, which seems to imply (that) the IPO is more about providing liquidity to employees rather than raising cash to acquire new businesses, as is being indicated."

Last year, HRnetGroup also received an $11.4 million lift in the form of government grants and subsidies, though these are being cut down this year, he added.

"Nonetheless, the company generates a lot of cash (and) after adjusting for its cash holdings post the IPO, it doesn't appear very expensive either," Mr Singh wrote.
 

  • $41m

  • Net profit for HRnetGroup last year. Firm pulled in $365 million in revenue.

The HRnetGroup IPO is the second on the mainboard this year, after Dasin Retail Trust's listing in January. But momentum has picked up and bigger listings are coming soon.

Singtel's planned IPO of its fibre broadband unit, NetLink Trust, is expected to take place closer to next month. This could raise at least $2 billion, making it the biggest listing here since Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which raised US$5.5 billion ($7 billion) in 2011.

Australia's Cromwell Property Group is reportedly planning to list a billion-dollar European property portfolio here this year.

There has also been more action among the smaller firms, with five IPOs on the Catalist board this year.

Catalist-listed environmental engineering firm Sanli Environmental made a solid debut yesterday, opening at 40 cents and closing at 37.5 cents, a gain of 15 cents or 66.7 per cent from its offer price of 22.5 cents. It was the fourth most active counter and ended the day with a market cap of $100.7 million.

Up next, Aspial is spinning off property arm World Class Global, which debuts on the Catalist board next Thursday, one day before HRnetGroup starts trading next Friday.

Last month, Shopper360 and Y Ventures Group lodged preliminary prospectuses for Catalist IPOs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'HRnetGroup prices IPO at 90 cents a share'. Print Edition | Subscribe