Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) plans to dispose shares worth $1 billion from its Indonesian unit.
Sources revealed that the company’s plan is an effort to conform to the free-float regulations. Further details revealed that investment banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) are some of the interested parties. The sale is expected to be the biggest share issue in Southeast Asia.
Phil Morris is currently the majority shareholder at Sampoerna, the biggest cigarette maker in Indonesia, valued at $23 million. Phil Morris owns 98.18% of the Indonesian firm. The sale is in line with a new regulation that requires Indonesian listed firms to have a minimum of 7.5% shares in the public. The company has not yet revealed the actual per share value that the shares will be disposed at. PM has also not announced the dates when the sale will start though it is expected to come to a completion by the end of the year. Therefore, the sale will be on in the next few months.
PM announced a month ago that the Indonesian unit was holding talks with the investment banks to discuss the options for meeting the mandatory stock exchange float requirement. The regulation will be in effect as of Jan. 30, 2016. Plans for a share sale come amid unstable economic data thus placing a lot of pressure on the equities market. The country’s economy recorded a 4.71% growth in within the first quarter in comparison to the first quarter in the previous year. This has been the slowest trend for the company within the last five years.
The share sale will not result into a significant difference PM’s influence in the Indonesian firm’s management. On the contrary, it will bring in additional finances Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM). None of the investment banks involved were available to make a comment about the situation. Indonesia remains one of the biggest cigarette markets in the world.