Australia’s supermarket giant Coles Group joins the ride of stock market with its debut on Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday.
Following a $20 billion separation from parent company Wesfarmers Limited, Coles started trading on Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday with an opening market value of $17.07 billion. It has been listed with an official of Coles Group Limited under an ASX code COL.
Coles Managing Director Steven Cain launched Coles at the share price of $12.49, that stands well within the range speculated by analysts. Coles has issued 1.33 billion shares to 530,915 shareholders on its register, taking a company’s worth to $17.07 billion.
Market experts were expecting to see Coles between $10.89 and $14.52 a share at its debut. Although Coles’ opening share price has touched market expectations, it was notably below the pre-open bids that were placed around $15.00 per share.
In the morning session, investors got bullish to the new player on ASX which took Coles’ share to trade at $13.33, straight up from its debut price of $12.49 per share. Although 8.67 million shares exchanged hands in the entire trading session on its debut on ASX, Coles concluded the day flat with the closing price same as that of its opening, i.e. $12.49 a share.
Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) now as a standalone company expects to distribute 80 to 90 per cent of underlying profit to its shareholders. The first dividend lining the pockets of Coles’ shareholders is scheduled to be announced in September 2019, which is said to be a final dividend for the year ending 30 June 2019 sliced from Coles’ earnings of 7-month post Demerger.
The listing on ASX outlines the strong growth of retailer over its journey of 104 years. From its origin in 1914, Coles has grown to become a leading Australian retailer which sells everyday products through its three-key division, that includes Supermarket, Liquor and Convenience. In addition to its physical presence across an extensive store network, Coles has expanded its footprints in online space through ‘Click & Collect’. Post demerger, Coles’ expects its net debt to be approximately $2 billion, amplifying its balance sheet to support strong capital and investments structure.
As Coles hits the ASX official list, Wesfarmers share price nosedived 27.725% to close at $31.960 on 21 November 2018. Further, Wesfarmers Limited, earlier the parent company of Coles, plans to retain a 15% interest in Coles and 50% interest in joint venture with Coles, Flybuys. The implementation of Coles demerger from Wesfarmers is scheduled for 28 November 2018.
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