The IPO is one of the few listings of a high-tech firm on the Singapore Exchange, which has become a global hub for real estate investment trusts over the past decade. Fundraising in Southeast Asia has improved this year but pales compared with North Asian markets.
Nanofilm, which provides coating materials for smartphones, televisions and smartwatches, secured the backing of 13 cornerstone investors, including subsidiaries of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and Aberdeen Standard Investments.
“COVID has served to accelerate the shift from a concrete to a digital world. Nanofilm is clearly one of the beneficiaries of this thematic,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at advisory firm United First Partners.
The shares rose as high as S$3.02 after opening at S$2.77 from the IPO price of S$2.59, in an issue in which the institutional portion was subscribed about 23 times.
Nanofilm counts Canon and Microsoft among its 300-plus customers. It was founded in 1999 as a technology spin-off from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University by Shi Xu, a professor-turned-entreprenur and currently the firm’s executive chairman.
Including an overallotment portion, Nanofilm’s IPO will raise about $375 million, with the retail segment making up only 2%. Xu controls about 55% of the firm, which commands a market value of nearly S$2 billion based on the trading price of S$3. Nanofilm was the third most actively traded stock in Singapore.
Citi, Credit Suisse and OCBC Bank were joint global coordinators and bookrunners on the IPO with investment bank CLSA. Evercore was the financial adviser for the issue.