Titan IPO to raise RM 950 million in Malaysia

Titan Chemicals Corp. controlled by the Texas-based Chao group, plans to raise about RM 950million in Malaysia's biggest initial public offering (IPO) in about 18 months. The company will offer 438 million new shares, about a quarter of its equity, by the end of June. Titan plans to use some of the proceeds to pay RM 760mil of debt due next year. The final price would be determined after a book-building exercise, to take place after the stock regulator approves the listing plans. About 80 million shares would be reserved for the public, with the rest for fund managers. Currently, Titan is riding on a high wave as margins for its products ethylene and propylene, is benefiting from higher prices as demand surges. Titan's net income rose 70% to a record RM262mil in 2004. The Chao group, which owns 48.8% of Titan, is run by the family of Taiwan businessman Chao Tsing-tung, a pioneer of the island's plastics industry. Permodalan Nasional Bhd owns 45.5% of Titan and SC Polymer Inc, 1.3%. The share sale by Titan would be the largest in the country since the September 2003 IPO of Astro All Asia Networks Plc. Astro raised RM2.03bil in the IPO, which was South-East Asia's biggest at the time.
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