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M’sian wellness startup files for IPO on US capital markets to raise US$46.2M, here’s why

AgapeATP (Agape), a wellness programmes provider in Malaysia, has filed to uplist its shares and hold an initial public offering (IPO) on the US capital market.

In a recent filing, Agape has indicated it’s applying for listings on NYSE and Nasdaq, but has yet to decide which exchange to list its share.

Slow and steady growth

Briefly, Agape is a health and wellness company based in Malaysia. The corporation was formed in 2016 as a result of a restructuring. Formerly, it functioned as a direct selling company for almost 18 years.

Around the same time of its incorporation, Agape successfully obtained approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for IPO and was listed in OTC markets.

OTC is an abbreviation of over-the-counter. The decentralised market allows market participants to trade stocks, commodities, currencies, or other instruments directly between two parties and without a central exchange or broker.

Listing on OTC before going to a larger stock exchange was beneficial to Agape. It helped the team familiarise and equip themselves with a better understanding of exchanges before they reached the main board. 

That’s according to Dato Sri Dr How Kok Choong, Chairman and CEO of Agape, who spoke to Vulcan Post.

Image Credit: AgapeATP

Being in the OTC market helped the team get connected to stakeholders in the local US market such as investment bankers and auditors. 

“I think most importantly we are able to adapt to the compliance standards by the Securities and Exchange Act over there,” shared Dr How.

He added that another advantage for Agape to list on OTC is building a track record of the company’s financial results, annual reportings, and so on. 

Thus, Dr How believes that it was the right move to use OTC as a stepping stone before listing on the main board, especially for a Malaysian company aiming to list on the US capital market.

Onto the main board

Listing on either NYSE or Nasdaq would increase Agape’s transparency as a company, which contributes to enhancing Agape’s credibility to its shareholders, stakeholders, and business partners. 

“Given the tools and resources from the listing exercise, we are expecting more strategic investment activities, partnerships, collaborations, and joint ventures among the industry players,” Dr How shared. 

“We always highlight that the lifting up of the wellness economy is not just a sole effort by our company, but it should be a joint effort between different players in the industry.”

Image Credit: AgapeATP

The listing exercise would also open Agape up to more resources and talents for the company’s upcoming future development plans that will be highly focused on personalised wellness solutions.

Agape is hoping to expand into neighbouring countries in the ASEAN region as well.

“From that perspective, [listing on] the US capital market is actually building up a tool and strategy [for us] to reach our objectives. To gather on the efforts of the industry, to talk about the development of the industry instead of just our company alone,” explained Dr How.

Agape plans to offer 7.7 million shares for US$5.50 to US$6.50 per share, where the midpoint would be US$6 per share, and the deal would raise US$46.2 million.

  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: AgapeATP

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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