Wilcon Depot to spend Php5B for store network expansion, eyes Php7.9-B IPO by March

MANILA-- Soon-to-be-listed Wilcon Depot Inc., the country's leading construction retail store, is earmarking Php5 billion to roll out 27 new stores over the next five years, as it expands aggressively its nationwide footprint to support growth target of up to 15 percent.

Wilcon chairman and founder William Belo said the company aims to increase its net sales to over Php18 billion in 2017 from Php14.45 billion in 2015.

"The economy is doing really well so we wanted to grow faster. We are averaging three to four branches only. This year, we wanted to do eight. We just opened one last January and there will be seven more for the year," he told reporters.

Belo said the company was eyeing to expand this year in Bacolod, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo, Cavite, Manila and Cabanatuan.

"This year, (we) will be more on Visayas, Mindanao, but we'll still have some areas, cities in the Luzon area that we are tapping," he noted.

Belo further said it allotted Php2 billion for capital expenditures in 2017 to open new stores, which will be funded from Php7.9 billion in initial public offering (IPO) proceeds.

The remaining amount will be used to pay down some debts and for general corporate purposes, he added.

Building new stores will bring the company's total store network to 65 by 2021.

"(We are looking at) 15-percent (growth) for 2017 because of the number of the branches. We are expecting a big growth because of the branches that we will put up," Belo said.

The company will offer 1.39 billion primary shares at a maximum price of Php5.68 a-piece.

Its offering will commence on March 13 and end on March 17; while the listing of the shares has been targeted on March 23.

The First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) has been appointed the issue manager, bookrunner and lead underwriter.

Meanwhile, Wilcon turned over Monday night its Php6-million donation to Gawad Kalinga for the construction of 40 houses in Sulu.

Belo said such undertaking supports a government project aimed at reducing poverty incidence in the island province of Sulu.

Groundworks on the "Save Sulu Project" started September last year in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to map out poverty alleviation program for the said province. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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