Thai food producer Betagro to raise $464 mln in IPO

BANGKOK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Thai food company Betagro Pcl said in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday that it plans to raise at least 17.4 billion baht ($463.38 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) later this month.

The IPO would be Thailand's second-largest offering this year, after Thai Life Insurance Pcl TLI.BK raised nearly $1 billion in July.

But it comes at an uneasy time for Thai equities, with the benchmark index .SETI down 6% year to date.

Betagro, which produces meat and pet food, plans to offer 434.8 million shares at 40 baht each, raising up to 20 billion baht if it exercises an overallotment option of an additional 65.2 million shares, floating up to 25% of the company.

Proceeds will be used to acquire or build new factories, pay off debt, and as working capital, Betagro said.

The company booked net profits of 3.9 billion baht in the first half of 2022, up from 1.2 billion baht from the same period a year earlier, driven by higher market prices in the proteins business including poultry, eggs and processed food.

It plans to have a dividend policy of at least 30% of net profits.

Its foreign bookrunner is Merrill Lynch Bank of America. Lead local underwriters are Kiatnakin Phatra and Bualuang Securities. Others included Kasikorn Securities, Maybank Securities and Innovest X Securities.

The IPO period will be from Oct. 20 to Oct. 25 this year. ($1 = 37.5500 baht)
Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng

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