So many rumors about Mercury Drug going public and using listed companies for backdoor entry. Here is another one and this is the reason why Touch Solutions Inc (TSI) went up so fast yesterday.
MANILA, Philippines – Listed Touch Solutions Inc.’s share price hit the roof yesterday on rumors it is a target for a backdoor listing by Mercury Drug of Companies, the largest pharmacy chain in the Philippines.
The stock surged 49.92 percent yesterday to P9.46 from P6.31 on volume of 7.23 million shares valued at P60.78 million.
Touch Solutions, a leading provider of open systems software and services in the country, was listed only on Dec. 19, 2011. Its share price has been steadily moving up from only P4.01 since Dec. 7.
Rumors have it that Chinese-Filipino businessman Mariano Que, who owns a national chain of more than 700 drugstores, including company-owned and franchised stores, has opted to list on the stock exchange via the backdoor to avoid the rigorous process and costs of going public.
The planned listing is believed to be part of the estate planning of Que, one of Forbes richest Filipinos in 2011.
Que, founder of the popular drugstore chain in the country, figured in a legal dispute with his eldest son Martiniano with respect to the disposition of the latter’s shares in the family-owned business.
Mercury Drug is estimated to sell as much as 60 percent of all medicines sold each year in the country. It follows the American model, combining drug and medical equipment sales with over-the-counter medicines, personal care items, basic household needs, cosmetics and other beauty products, and the like.
Most of the company’s stores also sell serums, blood plasma, albumin, and similar biologically active medical products.
Mariano started Mercury Drug by selling medicines from a pushcart. It opened its first store in Manila in 1945 and established Mercury Drug Corp.
The group ventured into the convenience store concept in the early 1980’s to further boost its sales. It developed its own convenience format via Q10.