Corporate News



BY FRANZ JONATHAN G. DE LA FUENTE, Reporter


Calata aims to grow network after listing debut in May




Posted on April 30, 2012


FARM SUPPLEMENT supplier Calata Corp., which is looking to go public next month, wants to expand its distribution capacity beyond Luzon following its listing debut next month.

“In Visayas, we’re studying expansion in the major islands there. We are focusing on certain areas that are underserved. But this will happen after we put up our 100 stores this year. That’s where we’re focusing now,� Benison Paul B. de Torres, Calata chief finance officer, told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the company’s investor briefing on Friday.

He declined to specify which areas the company was interested in.

This comes amid the Bulacan-based firm plans to roll out 100 Calata Retail Stores in Luzon this year in order to firm up its retail network.

“The company is embarking on an expansion program to retail agricultural products directly to end consumers, farmers and other small dealers in the Philippines,� Calata had said in its listing prospectus.

Calata is confident it will be able to earn well from the strategic placement of its stores, which will mostly be located in provinces in central Luzon.

“We are looking at a big market share per store, depending on their location. Some stores will be heavy in feeds, others in agrochemicals.

But we project significant sales for all our stores,� Mr. de Torres added.

“Mindoro will probably be the first outside mainland Luzon. That’s one area we are currently thinking of because we already have a customer there, plus friends in the industry who are already there, so it will be easier for us if we expand there. But these are just plans,� Mr. de Torres explained.

This, as the agriculture sector is seen as a growth area.

“Agriculture is really going to be one of the hottest sectors in the future, like what is already happening abroad. Our population growth is large but food supply is not always meeting it. Given this, Calata is definitely a very good company to invest in the long-term,� Zandro L. Zulueta, Absolute Traders & Consulting Services, Inc. chief executive officer, told BusinessWorld in a separate interview Friday.

Calata will be listing 360.11 million shares for as much as P7.50 apiece representing a 20% stake in the firm -- on May 23, with an offer period slated from May 10 to 16.