North Star seeks foreign investors after deferred IPO

NORTH Star Meat Merchants, Inc. is eyeing foreign and private equity investors after it deferred its initial public offering (IPO).

“We have more projects in the pipeline. We have so much more to invest in. Our end goal is to provide safe, compliant, and real protein to all Filipinos,” North Star Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ng said in an interview.

In June, the meat retailer deferred its planned P4.5 billion IPO due to market volatility and inflationary pressures.

North Star Chief Financial Officer Jed Tan said: “There are a lot of foreign, private equity interests…we are targeting foreign investors.”

Mr. Ng said that there is no target date for the refiling of the IPO, but that it will definitely push through in the near term. “We hope next year, but we’re not rushing,” he said.

“In my head, it’s a very providential move to defer the IPO at the time. We want to create value for our investors. We see our valuation going up,” he said.

Next year, the firm sees further growth but is keeping its expectations managed.

“Right now, we are targeting flat sales, coming from last year, but the bottom line is that we expect to improve a lot. We’re targeting flat, we’re being conservative,” Mr. Tan said.

The meat retailer announced that it recently inaugurated its solar energy project in Guiguinto, Bulacan with WEnergy Power Pilipinas, Inc.

“As we continue our push for food sufficiency in the country, we remain socially and environmentally conscious of minimizing our carbon footprint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change,” Mr. Ng said.

The firm said that the savings in electricity costs will allow it to focus on its overall operations and live out its commitment to providing an adequate supply of quality meat at affordable prices.

Under the project, the company will utilize 1,846 pieces of monocrystalline solar photovoltaic (PV) panels covering 4,035 square meters.

“This newly launched project is expected to reduce the cost of power consumption and increase the proportion of clean energy in their mix as it is presumed to have 15% reduction in its monthly power expenses and a 23% reduction in carbon footprint,” North Star said.

It added that solar facility translates into an annual savings of 501 metric tons of carbon dioxide- or CO2-equivalent, which is the yearly equivalent of more than 99 million smartphones charged, or at least 26,000 LED lights powered, and planting over 406 hectares of forests.

WEnergy Global also supplied North Star’s main storage system and meat-cutting plant with an 830.7-kilowatt-peak solar PV rooftop.

“We hope that we are able to inspire other enterprises in the years to come into promoting green solutions as it will benefit not only the company but more so the society and the environment,” Mr. Ng said.

North Star, an end-to-end fresh frozen meat retailer, operates in SM Markets, WalterMart, and Alfamart across the Philippines.

Its facilities have a cold storage capacity of 8.09 million kilograms and a capacity to deliver up to 120,000 kilograms of meat daily. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson