Corporate News

Yupangco zoo business mulls listing on PSE

Posted on November 08, 2011

THEME PARK operator Zoomanity Group is looking to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) within the next three years to raise funds for plans to expand its animal farm portfolio in the coming years, an official said.

TIGERS ROAM the Zoomanity Group’s Zoobic Safari park at the Subic Bay free port. --
“Hopefully, we will have our IPO (initial public offering) in the next three years,” Zoomanity Group President Roberto L. Yupangco said in a telephone interview yesterday. “This will give us sustainable funding and growth.” The IPO plan comes alongside the company’s targets of adding at least six more branches on top of the existing sites.

The company currently operates theme parks Zoobic Safari in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zoo-in-Zip Residences Inn in Tagaytay, Paradizoo in Cavite, Zoocobia and Zoocology in Clark Fields Pampanga, Animal Wonderland inside Star City in Manila, and Zoori’s Adventure and Bird Thrill inside Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna.

“We are banking on around 20 million local tourists annually based on government data. Our dream is to have 10 million customers in few years’ time,” he said.

“And that will be achieved by putting up more branches.”

Mr. Yupangco said the additional parks would be located in the Bicol Region, Palawan, Negros, and Baguio and other tourist destinations in the Philippines.

He noted that putting up the outlets would cost around P300 million.

“These are funded through partnerships,” he said, adding that the group is debt-free.

At present, the Zoomanity customers number below a million and operations generate a thousand jobs, Mr. Yungpangco said.

He also said the company is currently conducting a test run for its latest branch in Bohol, which is called “Zoocolate Thrills.”

He said Zoocolate Thrills, which is located in the Loboc area, showcases animals at the Chocolate Hills, the province’s prime tourist destination.

“We have been conducting the dry run, but the full operation will be in the summer of next year,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Yupangco said the group’s revenues for this year will likely match that recorded in the previous year.

He cited the rise in toll fees and fuel exacerbated by the calamities that hit the country in the year as factors that dampened demand.

“Most likely, it will be the same as last year. We were affected by the increase in gasoline, tollways, and typhoonl. You need to travel if you want to go to our theme parks,” he said.

Mr. Yupangco could not give exact figures saying that the parks’ revenues are not centralized.

The group also sells farm animals such as goats, donkeys and even plants, which according to Mr. Yupangco is part of the its corporate social responsibility.

“Our dream is to make Philippines a big green park,” Mr. Yupangco said. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon