(UPDATE) Monde Nissin, whose Lucky Me! made instant noodles a staple food for Filipinos, is planning what could be the country's biggest initial public offering, worth up to P63 billion ($1.3 billion), according to a stock exchange filing.
The company led by elusive billionaire Betty Ang has sought approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 3.6 billion shares at P17.50 apiece, with an option to sell up to 540 million more shares.
Monde Nissin said proceeds from the IPO would be used for the "expansion and enhancement of its production and technological capabilities, including its businesses in the UK and other key markets."
Monde Nissin, has a wider business that includes subsidiary MY San, the maker of SkyFlakes and Fita crackers, as well as Mama Sita's recipe sauces and popular meat substitue Quorn.
ALSO READ: How Much is the Lucky Me! Empire Worth?
Ang is worth nearly P9 billion ($185 million) according to Forbes Magazine, making her the 38th richest person in the Philippines. She owns a significant stake in Monde Nissin along with her Indonesian husband, Hoediono Kweefanus.
How much Lucky Me! do Filipinos consume? It's eaten round the clock either as a replacement for rice or as a rice viand. It's a mainstay in disaster relief bags and ayuda boxes.
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The big picture
How did the Lucky Me Empire grow so big? Monde Nissin diversified its product base from noodles in salty broth to pancit canton, which later morphed ito different flavors (spicy and calamansi) and preparations (boiled in a pot or just add hot water).
Ang also invested in nascent industries like meat substitutes. In 2015, it bought Britain's Quorn for $830 million (P40 billion), half a decade before plant-based meats and burgers became popular.
The Monde Nissin listing, alongside REITs, could make the Philippines the biggest market for IPOs in Southeast Asia this year, Reuters reported citing Refinitiv data. At an estimated $4 billion, the fund-raising could surpass the last seven years of IPOs.
The country's largest property firms are poised to list REITs or real estate investment trusts. Add to that a long delayed $1.5 billion IPO from the National Grid Corp, which owns the power transmission infrastructure in Luzon.