PE-Backed Courts Asia Planning IPO

(Reuters) – Courts Asia, a furniture and electronics retailer with operations in Singapore and Malaysia, is planning to raise more than $100 million in a Singapore initial public offering, sources said on Friday.

The IPO, comprising a mix of new and existing shares, will raise funds to support Courts’ consumer finance business and the opening of new stores, according to a draft prospectus on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s website.

“The group intends to grow its existing retail store network in Malaysia and to increase the gross floor area at its existing retail stores in Singapore,” Courts said in the prospectus.

The draft prospectus did not state how much money the IPO will raise, but a source involved in the listing said Courts hoped to raise over S$150 million ($107 million).

The exact amount will be determined after an investor road show, the source added.

Courts, which used to have separate listings in Singapore and Malaysia, was taken over in 2008 by Asia Retail Group, an entity partly owned by Barings Private Equity.

Barings’ move to exit its investment comes a day after U.S. buyout firm TPG [TPG.UL] sold its 23.9 percent stake in Singapore healthcare firm Parkway (PARM.SI) for $685 million, realising a three-fold return on its investment. [IDnSGE62A0DD]

The main underwriters for Courts’ IPO are Macquarie, RBS and CLSA. ($1=1.396 Singapore Dollar) (Reporting by Kevin Lim and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Lincoln Feast)