Filipino tycoon Razon eyes up to $400m IPO – sources

Enrique Razon, businessman and owner of casino operator Bloomberry Resorts, gestures during an interview by reporters after a shareholders meeting in Manila June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

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MANILA, June 21 (Reuters) – Filipino ports and gambling tycoon Enrique Razon plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) worth up to $400 million for his infrastructure and energy holding company , three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The proposed IPO for Razon’s Prime Infrastructure Holdings Inc is still in its early stages, but could happen as soon as this year, two of the sources said.

The proceeds from the share sale would be used to fund Prime Infrastructure’s solar power facility which is expected to have a capacity of 2,500 to 3,500 megawatts (MW) combined with a 4-volt battery energy storage system. 000 MWh to 4,500 MWh. It would be the largest solar power plant in the world.

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“Equity is always part of the discussion when talking about fundraising options,” the third source said, noting that the amount of capital required was too high for the debt or loan market.

Razon, the second richest person in the Philippines with a net worth of $6.7 billion, according to Forbes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 62-year-old tycoon built his fortune through casino group Bloomberry (BLOOM.PS) and global port operator International Container Terminal Services (ICT.PS).

Two foreign banks and two domestic banks may be involved in the share sale, one of the sources said.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media about the transaction.

Earlier this month, Razon announced its acquisition of a majority stake in a gas field in the South China Sea from a close ally of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. The potential deal was first reported by Reuters in May.

So far this year, seven companies are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, although market conditions have become more difficult.

The broader Philippine stock market index (.PSI) has lost 11% so far this year, in line with neighbors in Southeast Asia, on rising inflation and rising interest rates.

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Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales Editing by Ed Davies

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