Koufu opens above IPO price on SGX trading debut

SINGAPORE: Home-grown food court operator Koufu on Wednesday (Jul 17) made its trading debut on the Singapore Exchange’s mainboard at an opening price of S$0.65.

This is 3.2 per cent above its initial public offering (IPO) price of S$0.63 apiece. 

Koufu food court

The broader Straits Times Index (STI) also started the trading day higher at 3,251.28, up 0.36 per cent or 11.64 points.

Koufu said it received “strong support” from both institutional and retail investors at the close of its IPO on Monday noon. 

The public tranche of 6.3 million shares was 17 times subscribed, with application funds of about S$67.8 million lodged. 

For the placement tranche of 85.1 million shares, it received “strong” indications of interest for about 552.5 million placement shares, with a total value of just over S$348 million. 

The valid acceptances for the reserved shares resulted in all 5.5 million being allotted. 

Separately, 21 million shares were taken up by three cornerstone investors, namely Maxi-Harvest Group, One Hill Investments and Qilin Asset Management. 

In a news release on Tuesday evening, founder-CEO Pang Lim said this was a “strong vote of confidence” for the 16-year-old company, as well as a “recognition” of its track record and growth plans. 

Among the future plans outlined in its prospectus, Koufu is earmarking S$30 million of the IPO proceeds for the building of an integrated facility in Woodlands. This will be home to a larger central kitchen and a centralised dishwashing facility.

About S$5 million will also be set aside for other expansion plans, such as the acquisition of a major stake in a business-to-business bakery. Slated to be completed in the fourth quarter, Koufu said this will expand its bakery, confectionary and hot kitchen food production business. 

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Apart from new openings in Singapore, including its first food court in a hospital this month, Koufu is eyeing overseas expansion and aims to use Singapore and Macau as “springboards” to enter China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

It has also begun negotiations with several commercial landlords and developers to establish new food and beverage outlets in Macau. 

Koufu currently manages 47 food courts, 14 coffee shops, 81 self-operated F&B stalls, a hawker centre in Jurong West and another in Punggol Plaza. Outside of Singapore, it has a food court at Macau’s Sands Cotai Central, as well as two F&B stalls and an F&B kiosk.