Kitchen equipment firm taps market listing

SINGAPORE - A local company that makes and distributes kitchen equipment on Sunday launched an initial public offering (IPO) for a listing on the secondary Catalist board.

Singapore Kitchen Equipment (SKE), which sells its products under the trade name Q'son Kitchen Equipment, is aiming to raise net proceeds of $3.275 million.

SKE is offering 23 million shares at 20 cents each, comprising 2.25 million public offer shares and 20.75 million on placement.

It will allocate 49 per cent of the net proceeds for expanding the company's regional presence while 21 per cent will be used to acquire fabrication equipment and machinery. The remaining 30 per cent is earmarked for general working capital.

Founded in 1996 by its current management, SKE distributes and manufactures a range of equipment, including cooking ranges and refrigeration products. It also provides maintenance services.

Managing director Sally Chua said demand for kitchen equipment will continue to grow, both in Singapore and the region.

"After the equipment has been installed, it will still need to be serviced and maintained," added Ms Chua, one of the company's founders.

About 65 per cent of SKE's revenue comes from its equipment fabrication and distribution business, with the rest from maintenance and servicing.

"With the labour crunch in Singapore, more customers are looking for labour-saving options like central kitchens," added Ms Chua.

More than half of its revenue comes from customers in the restaurant sector. The company has also supplied kitchen equipment to hospitals, schools and government agencies.

The company, which has carried out projects in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia, hopes to expand its reach in Asean, particularly in Myanmar.

The placement will close next Thursday, with trading due to start on July 22.

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