SEAOIL targets IPO for first quarter 2008

Leading independent oil player SEAOIL Philippines Inc. has reiterated its plan to go public in the first quarter of 2008 to raise fresh capital.

"SEAOIL plans to sell between 20% to 30% of its capital stock to finance the company's nationwide expansion," said Francis Glenn Yu, President of SEAOIL.

Formed in 1997, SEAOIL is the first independent fuel company to put up a gasoline retail station, following the deregulation of the country's downstream oil industry. It has since aggressively expanded, becoming the largest fuel firm outside the Big 3 of Petron, Shell and Chevron (Caltex) with 154 outlets nationwide.

With over 50 new stations for roll-out in the next 12 months and a waiting list for franchising, the company is targeting to reach over 500 stations nationwide by 2011.

Since deregulation started, 62 firms have thus far entered the retail oil industry and invested heavily in new retail outlets and storage facilities. Based on Department of Energy statistics, local gasoline stations of new players increased from 112 stations in1999 to 602 in 2006 with SEAOIL accounting for almost 106 stations in 2006.

SEAOIL's main products are diesel, gasoline, kerosene, auto-LPG and its pioneering biofuels blend. It also provides a wide range of lubricants for the automotive, construction, marine, transportation, power and manufacturing industries.

Consistent with its thrust of innovation, the company pioneered the promotion of biofuels and other alternative fuels in the country, being the first to introduce the use of ethanol as a gasoline blend.

In 2005, two years before the implementation of the Biofuels Act, SEAOIL already offered the first 10-percent ethanol blended gasoline or E10, now available in most of its nationwide retail station network along with the similarly mandated 1 percent biodiesel blend.