BIZ BUZZ: The next hot IPO trend?

Once the stock market shakes off this grim downtrend, upscale bakeries, cafes and restaurants could be the next hot market for initial public offerings.

A top investment banker told Biz Buzz that three companies including Wildflour Cafe + Bakery, Mary Grace Cafe and Cabalen have sought expert advice and are very interested in exploring IPOs once market conditions improve.

Although their business models vary, these companies share some similarities in that they remain successful and profitable in their chosen niches and are founded and led by women.

Wildflour, co-founded by President and CEO Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo, may have the highest valuation of the three due to its high-margin operations and expansion plans. In fact, its post-IPO valuation is estimated to be around P10 billion.

Founded and led by Mary Grace Dimacali, Mary Grace is another well-known chain. What started as a small business selling baked goods in residential villages and school markets has now become one of the top restaurants in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon. The investment banker tells us that Mary Grace may also be worth billions of pesos.

Cabalen, founded and led by Maritel Nievera, is another company exploring the IPO route. Cabalen, known for its Filipino buffets, has a lot of competition in Metro Manila, but we were told that the brand is still popular, especially in the provincial areas.

——Miguel R. Camus

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