Meat seller revives IPO plans; a strategic investor opts for a small cut

Anthony Marc Ng

Anthony Marc Ng

GUIGUINTO, BULACAN – Businessman Anthony Mark Ng has his plate full until next year with the potential relaunch of North Star Meat Merchants Inc.’s initial public offering (IPO) and a serious offer of a strategic investor seeking a minority stake.

Ng, chairman and CEO of North Star, told reporters on Wednesday they hoped to relaunch the delayed IPO in 2023, but the final timing would depend on market conditions.

“An IPO is once in a lifetime…we don’t want to mess that up,” said Ng, who founded North Star more than two decades ago as a thesis project. of business school.

The timing was also critical as he worried about the negative perception an IPO flop might create.

“I spent 23 years building this and in one of the biggest events of my career, we [disappoint investors] just to make money? That’s not how we do business,” he said.

SM Group

North Star may not be familiar to most customers, but its fresh meat products can be found on the shelves of SM Group’s Sy family supermarkets. It has also been the supplier of SM Bonus meats for more than 15 years now.

Ng said the IPO would return to the market with a much larger size given its growth prospects, with demand for meat remaining resilient despite the recent surge in consumer prices. Jed Tan, CFO of North Star, also explained that the larger size would allow them to attract international investors who might find the current IPO too small.

“We are continually in talks with fund managers and investment bankers to understand market requirements. But we are targeting foreign investors,” he said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ng revealed that North Star had received a number of offers from investors such as local groups and foreign private equity firms, with some offering to acquire a majority stake in the company.

“There has been a lot of positive interest. It’s overwhelming,” he said.

While full takeover offers were turned down outright, North Star was open to the idea of ​​entertaining a strategic partner looking to buy a minority position in the business. mystery investor

Ng said he narrowed the list down to an unnamed strategic investor, who courted the company before the IPO.

For now, Tan said they will tap bank lines to support the expansion since the IPO has been delayed.

North Star operates three cold chain facilities, two in Bulacan and one in Cebu, with a combined capacity of approximately 8.1 million kilograms for 360 meat concessions and more than 1,250 stores and outlets nationwide .

Its mobile refrigerators, or refrigerated vans, can deliver up to 120,000 kg of meat per day. Operations are also supported by more than 2,200 butchers.

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