Fruitas realloacates P165 M IPO proceeds to real estate

Published September 15, 2020, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

Fruitas Holdings, Inc. (FHI) re-allocating P165 million of its initial public offering proceeds to cover the acquisition of the site of its buko (young cononut) water commissary and its new headquarters.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said the P165 million is part of the P470supposed to be used for store network expansion and store improvement.

Fruitas said an additional P20 million has now been allocated towards commissary expansion to cover the acquisition of the 1,328 square meter site of the buko water commissary in Quezon City, which is currently being leased.

“This refers to the equity portion of the purchase price as the balance of the acquisition price is expected to be financed via bank loans,” the firm said.

It has also re-allocated P145 million for the acquisition of the site of its new headquarters, measuring more than 900 square meters with a 5-storey building and net floor area of more than 2,000 square meters, located in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

“Final terms of the acquisition of these properties will be subject to negotiation.  Agreements are expected to be executed not earlier than mid-October,” the firm said.

Fruitas noted that the objective of these property acquisitions is to secure ownership, and therefore the long-term use, of assets which are vital for the future operations of the Group.

“Given the current low-yield environment, Fruitas is also investing its excess liquidity in assets which can provide higher returns, including potential capital appreciation in the long run,” it noted.

Fruitas added that, “The move will result in savings on lease expenses for the buko water commissary.

Certain back-office operations will also be consolidated in the new headquarters and rental income will be generated from tenants of potential excess space.”

The firm said it continues to re-open more stores as quarantine measures ease. The number of stores in operation have exceeded 600, the highest level since the imposition of various levels of quarantine across the country.

The rollout of community stores under the Babot’s Farm and Soy & Bean brands continues and Fruitas has also started to offer frozen de Original Jamaican Patties in its community stores.