@TranscorpPLC plans remarkable N8 billion, 1 week IPO

by Tunji Andrews

Transcorp Hotels plans to start marketing its initial public offering (IPO) from September 24, aiming to raise N8 billion ($48.8 million) to part-finance the construction of two new hotels in Africa’s biggest economy, its prospectus showed. The hotel company said it will offer 800 million shares to investors at N10. The sale will last for a week from Wednesday and will be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Nov. 5, the prospectus showed.

Transcorp Hotels’ parent company Transcorp, which has interest in power generation, agribusiness and oil and gas, announced plans in July to expand its hotel business in Nigeria to tap into a growing market for business travellers.

Two weeks ago the stock exchange said it had received Transcorp’s application for the share sale. Transcorp Hotels will have a stock market capitalisation of N79.8 billion on listing.

“Over the next five years, the company will take a phased approach in developing high-end hotels … as well as a convention center and apartment complex,” it said in its IPO document.

Pretax profit at Transcorp Hotels rose to 6.12 billion naira in 2013, up 51 per cent from a year earlier. It expects 2014 pretax profit to hit 7.45 billion naira.

The Transcorp Hotels share sale will be the second market début in Nigeria since IPOs stalled in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Oil company, Seplat, raised $500 million in April through Lagos and London listings.

IPOs dried up when the 2008 crash wiped more than 60 per cent off the market, but index has since recovered in the past two years, gaining 35 per cent in 2012 and 47 per cent in 2013.

Transcorp Hotels, whose flagship hotel is managed by the Hilton group in Abuja, is 88 per cent-owned by the Trasncorp conglomerate, with the balance held by the federal government.

The hotel company plans to use proceeds of the IPO to develop two new properties, which will be managed by the Hilton group in Lagos and Port Harcourt. It expects to complete construction by 2017.

New hotels are springing up across Africa despite bureaucratic delays and poor infrastructure, seeking to cater to a growing middle class and increasing number of tourists and business travellers.

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