Monde Nissin Corp. made its stock market debut on Tuesday. — COMPANY HANDOUT

MONDE NISSIN Corp. saw its shares dip on its stock market debut on Tuesday, after the maker of Lucky Me! noodles raised P48.6 billion from the Philippines’ biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO).

Monde Nissin’s stock closed at P13.48, two centavos or 0.15% lower than its IPO price of P13.50.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Monde Nissin Chief Executive Officer Henry Soesanto said that it plans to grow its portfolio in meat alternatives via its Quorn Foods brand amid the pandemic. 

“We need the capex (capital expenditure) requirement as early as now for our growth in alternative protein, which is poised to grow exponentially. We don’t want to miss the opportunity, we wanted to get the fund ready to develop our capacity,” Mr. Soesanto said.

The food manufacturer’s post-IPO market capitalization stands at P242.6 billion. Excluding underwriting commission and listing expenses, Monde Nissin said it raised P48.6 billion from its maiden offering.

The company, according to its prospectus, is planning to spend around 57.2% of its IPO proceeds to fund its capex.

For this year, the company will allot P8 billion in capex. It also earmarked P9 billion in capital spending in 2022 and P10 billion for 2023.

For its branded food and beverage business in the Asia-Pacific region, Monde Nissin will finance key projects, which include the completion of its facility in Malvar, Batangas and the production of healthier noodle lines.

Monde Nissin will also be funding expansion plans for its meat alternative business, as well as its product development processes. The company said it plans to expand in the United Kingdom, the United States, and on the “global QSR (quick service restaurants) accounts,” which include the Philippine market.

“If you see some of the consumer interests today here in the Philippines, we think the time is right to be able to bring Quorn back into the country and we’re sort of looking at that idea [in] June-July time,” David Nicol, chief strategy officer of Monde Nissin, said.

Monde Nissin’s stock reached a high of P13.56 during Tuesday’s session, but also slipped to P13.46.

Timson Securities, Inc. trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said he expects Monde Nissin’s shares to trade as low as P13.46 and put a ceiling of P13.56 in the coming days.

“It may be due to investors staying on the sidelines for the meantime, while assessing the company’s performance in the coming weeks,” he said.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the stocks “ended flat on low volatility.”

“[It] was expected for a large-cap issue, on P3.22 billion traded, almost half of the total traded turnover value for the day,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail. “This shows confidence in the major food manufacturer and is a great addition to investors’ portfolios.” — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte