WICE Logistics Lists IPO on Stock Exchange of Thailand
Entering the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is a momentous occasion for WICE Logistics Public Company Limited. It’s part of the company’s move toward a more sustainable, stable future, in which WICE will survive and thrive through the next 100 years, being passed down from generation to generation.
WICE Logistics was initially founded as WICE Freight Services (Thailand) Ltd. in 1993, as a company handling ocean freight services between Thailand and the US, providing service at international standards for quality, and constantly adapting their business to be competitive.
This issue of LM was honored to speak with WICE Logistics’ executive team, consisting of Ms. Araya Kongsoonthorn, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chudet Kongsoonthorn, Managing Director, Business Development, and Ms. Kim Thitimar Tantikulsuntorn, Managing Director, Operation and Support. They were happy to share the WICE Logistics success story that has been developed over the past 20 years, as well as the story behind WICE Logistics’ entrance into the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) which will enable them to expand the company sustainably into the future.
Sustainable for the Next 100 Years
Ms. Kongsoonthorn said, “This is an important step for the company, ensuring that we’ll last another 100 years and continue growing. The initial public offering (IPO) is the highest achievement for our company, as well as the best solution for our business goals. Entering the stock market will enable us to continue sustainably growing, because it will lead to improved organizational structure and internal systems. The company can then be passed on to the next generation.”
“Aside from this, it’s an important moment for the business because we will gain more shareholders. The company is preparing to sell ordinary shares to increase the investment of executives without roles in the board of directors, as well as employees and ordinary citizens. We will be selling 150 million shares. It’s an opportunity for employees to gain some ownership in the company, to have a role in managing the company and to be a part of our growth. It’s also an opportunity for other skilled businesspeople to become a part of our company. Becoming a publicly traded company will also make the WICE name more well-known and help us reach more customers, vendors, and new partners.”
Currently, WICE Logistics PCL is an international logistics service and solution provider, offering services for both import and export, sea freight (LCL, FCL and consolidation) and air freight, as well as handling customs processes and domestic transport, in order to meet the varied needs of customers. WICE has received the trust and approval of their customers, vendors and partners both in Thailand and abroad.
A Crucial Turning Point
WICE Logistics PCL was honored to receive the 4th and 5th SME National Award consecutively from the Office of SMEs Promotion. The department gives the award to companies that have demonstrated quality and ability in business management according to the national standard. Receiving this award has created opportunities for WICE, helped foster acceptance from the SET, and also helped us prepare to enter the stock exchange. Because we won this award, we were able to attend a seminar and receive good advice which has helped us understand the benefits of the stock market and better reach investors.
An Important Step for WICE
In mid-2013, WICE made the decision to register to enter the SET. In order to facilitate this, they brought in Phillip Brokerage Pte. Ltd. to assist as a financial advisor and EY Office Co., Ltd to audit accounts. These companies have both been approved by the SEC.
WICE has adjusted the structure of the company in order to eliminate potential conflict with investors’ interests and improve the transparency of the company’s management. Currently, the company holds 99.9% of the shares in its subsidiary, Sun Express (Thailand) Ltd., which is an international air freight forwarder that has helped enhance WICE’s strength in providing service for both air and sea freight. WICE has also changed its investment structure and appointed outside executives, including logistics and finance experts. They were hired to ensure transparency and analyze and determine risk. Once they were fully prepared, WICE then registered as a public company. In April 2015, WICE had registered investment capital of 300 million baht, and already paid 225 million baht.
One of the aims of this investment is to improve WICE’s ability to provide fully comprehensive service. The investment money has been used to invest in warehouses, as well as increasing the number of trucks, tractor heads, and chassis, and also expanding truck depots, upgrading information technology systems, and as funds to be used for everyday business dealings, in order to meet the needs of customers and continuously expand services.
Mr. Kongsoonthorn has one thing to share with readers who are interested in investing, “Our company has very little debt. Currently, our D/E ratio is lower than 0.5 per cent. Thus, there’s very little risk in making an investment. Our company is confident that we will grow according to plan. WICE is an interesting stock, in the Growth Stock sector, which will certainly deliver long term dividends.”
“WICE’s entrance into the stock market has created excitement among the employees. Each employee is looking forward to being a part of the business that they have been working in by becoming a shareholder. The company is allowing employees to buy shares when the IPO launches, so they can experience WICE Logistics’ continuous growth from the very beginning. We are confident. We believe that we will surely reach our goals in the future,” Ms. Tantikulsuntorn said.
“Over the past two years, the company has been preparing to enter the stock market. I am very proud of our employees and our subsidiary’s employees. I want to praise them for their cooperation and dedication in improving our management system in various ways until it has become perfect. This has enabled our company to follow its plans and deadlines. Everyone has worked hard and sacrificed. I believe that the team is an important strength in growing the company and keeping it strong in the future,” said Mrs. Kongsoonthorn.
Mr. Ekapol Pongsataporn, President of the Board of the Directors, shared his vision for the company, “We entered SET because if we want to play with the big players, we have to be on the main board and observe what the others are doing. By absorbing more knowledge, we can push ourselves to think big in the future. At the moment, Thailand doesn’t have a major logistics provider that has reached the global level. Therefore, I would like to present WICE Logistics PCL as one of Thailand’s top logistics providers. WICE will become a major company with a globally recognized brand. This is our plan.”
WICE executives’, managers’ and team’s experience has been developed over the past 22 years, and the company has continuously expanded its services and focus on value-added services for logistics and supply chain. At the same time, Thailand is continuously growing in international trade, with the launch of the AEC, and TNSC’s program for turning the country into a ‘Trade Nation’. These things have made international logistics into an industry that has even greater need to meet customers’ requirements. Therefore, WICE Logistics PCL is ready to become a company that grows by leaps and bounds, surely developing from a Good to Great Company in the future.