SEC approves Nickel Asia IPO

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2010 06:48 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2010 02:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Securities and Exchange Commisson has approved Nickel Asia Corp.'s planned initial public offering (IPO) worth up to P8 billion.

The mining firm, owned by brothers Manuel and Salvador Zamora, will be offering between 198 million and 304.5 million common shares at a price range of P14.95 to P23 per share or a total of as much as P7 billion.

The company has also set aside 29.7 million to 45.6 million common shares for over-allotment, which can raise another P1 billion.

Nickel Asia has tapped ATR Kim ng Capital Partners, SB Capital Investments, and UBS International Philippines Inc. to be the underwriters for the domestic offer, while UBS AG and CLSA Singapore Pte Ltd. have been contracted to handle the international sale.

Of the total shares to be sold, 175.8 million were earmarked for foreign investors.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used for exploration and acquisitions, and for investments in the Taganito mine project in Surigao del Norte, in partnership with Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. Nickel Asia is set to make an equity contribution of $102.4 million in Taganito.

"We intend to allocate $86 million of the (IPO) proceeds to fund this equity contribution. In the event that we are required to make equity contributions to Taganito prior to the completion of offering, we intend to borrow the necessary funds under a short-term bridge loan and repay the loan using offer proceeds," the company said.

Nickel Asia is currently the largest nickel mining firm in the country today, owning majority stakes in several operations throughout the Philippines. These include Taganito, Cagdianao, South Dinagat, Taganaan and Rio Tuba.

Sumitomo Metal Mining earlier expressed its intention to subscribe to at least 44.85 million of Nickel Asia's IPO shares, Nickel Asia earlier said.