Officemate aims for 15% freely floated shares on SET

Corporate December 27, 2012 00:00

By SANICHA LAKORNPHON
THE NATION

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OfficeMate, a giant Thai online stationery and office-equipment company, will focus on raising its freely floated shares in the Stock Exchange of Thailand from the current 9 per cent to 15 per cent to meet or exceed SET requirements. The plan is expected



Worawoot Ounjai, chairman and chief executive officer of OfficeMate, said yesterday that the move would enable the company to be promoted to the SET 100 ranking next year to make it more attractive to institutional investors.

One way to raise the free float would be for the two major shareholders to sell shares in the market, but they apparently want to hold their shares for the long term. Worawoot said the Ounjai group and the Chirathivat family would discuss which of them will put shares on the market, with a decision expected next month. The Ounjai family owns 16 per cent of OfficeMate, while the Chirathivat family holds 75 per cent.

The Chirathivat family, who own Central Retail Corporation, the country’s largest retail conglomerate, have merged CRC with OfficeMate to expand its online business in the Kingdom and throughout the region.

The two partners have consolidated their business units relating to office supplies, books and stationery, and online shopping, including OfficeMate, Office Depot – operated by Office Club (Thai) – B2S, and Trendy Day, to be under OfficeMate.

OfficeMate is a leader and specialist in online business, catalogue sales, and call systems, especially for office supplies and stationery products, Worawoot said.

He added that the company had a bright outlook after the merger and would have a larger customer base and lower costs.

OfficeMate targets growth of 20 per cent next year from the expected Bt8 billion to Bt8.5 billion this year. Its own business is expected to see 20-per-cent growth, while CRC’s B2S is expected to grow by 15 per cent. The entire group expects to post revenue of Bt10 billion next year.

OfficeMate’s online business will expand to cover a greater number of product categories in the second half of next year and is expected to generate sales revenue of Bt400 million per month before rising to Bt1 billion per month after the maximisation of benefit from the merger.

The company has set a goal that next year its one-day-|delivery service will cover 25 provinces before rising to 50 in 2014 and nationwide in the following years.