Private equity firm exits Thailand’s Robinson, raising $219 million

The sale of Asia Investment International’s remaining 10% stake in the Thai department store operator draws robust demand.
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A Robinson store in Bangrak
<div style="text-align: left;"> A Robinson store in Bangrak </div>

Asia Investment International has sold its entire 10% stake in Thailand’s Robinson Department Store, raising Bt6.73 billion ($219 million). The price was fixed just above the mid-point of the indicative range.

The private equity firm first invested in Robinson in 2009 and monetised its remaining investment in the company through this transaction, a source said.

Asia Investment launched the deal after the Thai market closed on Thursday. The order books closed later that same evening, though the bookrunners waited until Friday morning to go out with pricing and allocation.

Robinson owns and operates a department store chain that targets mid-market customers. As of the end of September, it operated 27 Robinson stores — 10 in greater Bangkok and 17 outside the capital — according to a recent earnings announcement.

Asia Investment International sold 111.2 million shares at Bt60.50 each, which translated into a discount of 4.3% versus Thursday’s closing price of Bt63.25. The deal was marketed at a price between Bt59 and Bt61.50, representing a discount of 2.8% to 6.7%.

The deal was multiple-times subscribed, with strong participation from long-only investors, the source said. It attracted demand from both domestic and international investors, and a total of 75 accounts came into the deal, the person added.

After the transaction, Robinson’s share price fell 4.4% on Friday to end at Bt60.50, which was equal to the placement price. However, the stock has climbed more than 42% since the start of the year, outperforming the 29% gain in Thailand’s SET Index.

During the nine months to September, Robinson booked Bt1.4 billion in net profit, a 24% increase from the same period last year. That was due to a continued increase in sales and improved cost management, as well as to a corporate income tax reduction policy, the company said in the earnings statement published in early November.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Phatra Securities were joint placing agents for the deal.

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