REUTERS/ELOISA LOPEZ

ISOC Cold Chain Logistics, Inc. has filed with the corporate regulator an application to hold an initial public offering (IPO) of shares worth nearly P1.5 billion to fund, among others, its expansion plans.

The company, which operates under the business name ORCA Cold Chain Solutions, plans to sell 1.035 billion common shares in its primary offer, 444.8 million common shares via a secondary offer, and 222 million common shares as an overallotment option.

In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ISOC plans to sell a total of 1.702 billion shares, including the option shares, priced at up to P0.88 apiece.

“[ISOC] intends to use the net proceeds, estimated to be P841.1 million, for land acquisition, expansion of existing facilities to accommodate additional VAS (value-added services), development of new cold storage facilities, and general corporate purposes,” it said in its preliminary prospectus.

ISOC is a pioneering company that utilizes the latest technology and process innovation in the cold storage industry. Its shares will be traded on the Small, Medium and Emerging Board of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Its facilities support the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination drives of various local government units by establishing dedicated loading bays, transport paths, and storage spaces for the vaccines.

It has a total installed capacity of one million doses and serviced the storage requirements for COVID-19 vaccines.

In its prospectus, ISOC reported a net loss of P312.4 million at the end of 2021, which is a decrease from its P356.1-million loss for 2020.

Its revenues last year increased by 15.4% to P339.7 million from P294.3 million previously.

Of the secondary offer shares, 266,880,000 will come from selling shareholder ISOC Holdings, Inc. and 177.92 million from Philware Magnate, Inc. They also own the option shares.

Proceeds from the option shares may be used for price stabilization transactions by purchasing common shares in the open market for a period not exceeding 30 calendar days from the listing date.

ISOC has engaged Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines to arrange the sale share and has set the offer period to commence at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20 and end at 12 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2022.

The final offer price will be determined through a book-building process after securing regulatory approval.

The company said that at present, the competition within the Philippine cold chain logistics industry is “moderately fragmented” in nature, with the presence of 27 non-captive players among 40 to 60 total players in the country’s frozen storage industry.

It counts itself as among the top five industry participants, which collectively accounted for 52% of the local cold storage pallet capacity as of 2019. — Justine Irish DP. Tabile