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Aspen Group targets Catalist IPO to raise US$26.8 million

Malaysian property developer Aspen Holdings Ltd announced on Wednesday the launching of an initial public offering (IPO) on the Catalist board of the SGX.

The firm is said to be issuing 173.3 million new shares at 23 cents each, with 168.9 million shares available for the subscription of institutional investors while the remaining 4.35 million shares are offered to the public.

The IPO is expected to help the firm raise S$32.76 million (about US$26.8 million), in which Aspen will use to buy land banks, repay bank loans and as working capital.

Based in Penang, Aspen Holdings Limited is a property developer which focuses on affordable residential and mixed development properties, targeting middle-income mass market purchasers.

“We see this as a great opportunity,” said Executive Director, President and Group CEO of Aspen Dato’ Murly. “Our homes range in the price between RM300,000 and RM400,000 for an 800 sq ft condominium apartment.”

When asked why the firm did not go public on the Malaysian bourse, Dato’ Murly said they chose Singapore because of the firm’s intentions to become a regional player despite the fact that all projects are currently in Penang.

“We are coming in as a Penang-centric real estate developer but we want to be a regional player,” he said. “We feel Singapore attracts more international investors and so it fits us well at the moment.”

For this IPO, Aspen appointed PrimeParners Corporate Finance Pte. Ltd. as the firm’s full sponsor and issue manager, as well as a joint underwriter and placement agent along with CIMB Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Meanwhile, RHB Securities Singapore Pte. Ltd. is the firm’s sub-placement agent.

Dato’ Murly said, “The listing will further raise Aspen’s profile as we forge ahead with our growth plans… Aspen is poised to take on new challenges in new locations, by envisioning mixed-development projects and initiating strategic ventures.”

Besides, the company has a strategic partnership with Ikano, the parent company of furniture giant Ikea, to co-develop Aspen Vision City. A 245-acre freehold development in Penang which will include homes, a park, a shopping center and the first Ikea store in Northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Aspen said its growth will continue to be driven by the country’s growing population, increasing investments into Penang, as well as the recent government policies promoting affordable home ownership.

Aspen’s IPO opened at 3.00pm on July 19 and is set to close at noon next Wednesday.Meanwhile, its shares are expected to start trading on July 28.

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