Jumbo Group shares surge on Catalist trading debut

Counter closes 36% above launch price in IPO that raises $40m for restaurant chain

Jumbo Group now owns, operates and licenses a number of eateries in Singapore, China and Japan.
Jumbo Group now owns, operates and licenses a number of eateries in Singapore, China and Japan. ST FILE PHOTO

Jumbo Group made a roaring stock market debut yesterday with its shares closing 36 per cent above the launch price after being ahead almost 60 per cent during the day.

The restaurant chain's initial public offering (IPO) raised $40 million from investors, including Temasek Holdings unit Heliconia Capital Management and Osim International chairman Ron Sim.

The shares were listed at 25 cents each on the Catalist board and touched a high of 39.5 cents during the day - a 58 per cent surge - before closing at 34 cents, lifting its market capitalisation to around $220 million.

"It's a company with great potential," Mr Sim was quoted by Bloomberg as saying at yesterday's listing ceremony at the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Mr Sim, who bought $8 million worth of shares, called himself a long-term shareholder with no immediate plans to cash out.

Temasek's Heliconia Capital took a $10 million holding in the IPO, according to a stock exchange filing.

Heliconia chief executive Derek Lau said the firm's mandate is to identify and support Singapore-based companies to be globally competitive.

"We'll continue with a steady pace of investment," he told Bloomberg at the listing ceremony. Heliconia has invested in about nine companies focused on urbanisation and the growing middle class, said Mr Lau, a former managing director of investment at Temasek.

Jumbo was set up here in 1987 with a restaurant in the East Coast Seafood Centre. It now owns, operates and licenses a number of eateries in Singapore, China and Japan.

Jumbo Seafood sells about 1.4 tonnes of crabs a day at its restaurants here. In addition to its Jumbo Seafood chain, the group owns other brands like JPOT, Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh and Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine, and claims to serve more than 6,000 customers daily.

The strong performance of its domestic and overseas franchises has led to a compound annual growth rate of 34.2 per cent between 2012 and 2014. Net profit for the first half of this year was $7 million.

The group also provides catering services in Singapore and retails its own brand of packaged sauces and spice mixes for its signature dishes.

Chief executive and executive chairman Ang Kiam Meng called the listing a "key milestone in our exciting corporate journey".

"The IPO provides us not only with the funds to bolster our operational capabilities and grow our presence in Singapore and China, but also a wider platform for the exposure of our brands while attracting talents."

The restaurant operator will open at least four more outlets in China and Singapore within the next two years, according to its filing.

Mr Ang said he aims to leverage on Heliconia's and Mr Sim's expertise, networks and experience.

Jumbo's IPO brings the number of companies listed on SGX's second board Catalist to 169, with a total value of $9 billion.

•Additional reporting by Jacqueline Woo

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline Jumbo Group shares surge on Catalist trading debut. Subscribe