With shares riding high six months after its IPO, garment firm looks for $378m Garment manufacturer Luen Thai Holdings tapped the market for up to $378 million through a top-up placement yesterday, moving immediately after the expiry of the six-month lock-up period that followed its initial public offering. The time was right to raise funds in the secondary market after the share price touched a record high, market sources said. Shares in Luen Thai have risen 47 per cent since its listing last July, as investors bet the end of global quotas on Chinese textiles would benefit the company. 'The company also wished to enhance its share liquidity,' one source said, noting that shoemaker Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings took about 44 per cent of the placing tranche in Luen Thai's $669 million IPO. Bloomberg data shows that Yue Yuen owns about 10 per cent of the company while the Tan family owns close to 75 per cent. Luen Thai has earmarked about 40 per cent of the placement proceeds for mergers and acquisitions, and the rest for working capital, according to market sources. One source said the company was looking to acquire producers of knitwear, cotton pants and lingerie. Although the company had been searching intensely, 'it has yet to identify any [targets] and there's a possibility the company won't be able to make any purchases', the source added. Luen Thai was selling 90.2 million shares at $4.07 to $4.20 each, representing a discount of 4 to 6.9 per cent to yesterday's closing price of $4.375. BNP Paribas Peregrine is the placing agent. 'The discount does not seem too attractive but I think the placement will be easily covered, given the relatively small size and that existing shareholders will get some [shares] to avoid dilution,' one fund manager said.