Monday, November 10, 2014

Blue Bird IPO raises $200 million

Indonesia's top taxi operator, Blue Bird, raised almost Rp2.4 trillion ($200 million) in its initial public offering.  The amount raised was less than what was initially expected after Blue Bird had to contend with the weak market conditions.

This was its second attempt at IPO after its initial attempt in 2013 failed after regulatory approval was delayed due to a lawsuit against Blue Bird's President Director Purnomo Prawiro over share ownership and trademarks.  This was a family dispute and Noni Purnomo believes that it is entirely a family dispute which should not disturb the company.  A district court rejected the lawsuit in February, paving the way for the IPO to take place.

Blue Bird was founded by Noni's grandmother in 1972 and is named after a French fairy tale about a girl and a blue bird who worked tirelessly in search of happiness.  The company now owns a around 30,000 strong fleet of taxis and is reputable and known for being clean and reliable.

The company still has room to grow.  While Singapore has 5.3 taxis per 1000 residents, Jakarta has only 1.4 taxis per 1000 residents.  With a growing middle class and the opening of Indonesia's economy to foreign investors, there is certainly room for growth.

The company plans to add to its total fleet by 20% each year.  Its fleet of taxis is also far larger than its closest competitor, PT Express Transindo Utama (Express Group), which operates only 10,000 taxis.

Blue Bird is now listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with ticker code "BIRD".  The IPO price was Rp6,500.

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