Monde Nissin’s Listing Creates Instant Riches, Adds Three Newcomers To Philippines’ 50 Richest

This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Philippines’ Richest 2021. See the full list here.

The $1 billion IPO in June of instant noodle maker Monde Nissin—the country’s biggest listing to date—gave a major boost to the wealth of its controlling shareholders and added three newcomers to the ranks.

The Philippine food giant was cofounded 42 years ago by its president Betty Ang with her late father-in-law Hidajat Darmono, whose family also owns Indonesian biscuit maker Khong Guan. Ang, 66, saw her fortune swell to $1.4 billion, which she shares with her husband Hoediono Kweefanus (Monde Nissin’s vice chairman and Darmono’s second son).

The IPO propelled Ang’s brother-in-law Hartono Kweefanus into the three-comma club for the first time. Kweefanus, 71, who chairs Monde Nissin, debuts with a $1.9 billion fortune, which he shares with two other siblings.(Darmono’s sons adopted a different surname from their father.)

Another relative to reap a bounty is Monde Nissin’s CEO Henry Soesanto, who’s married to Darmono’s daughter Monica. Their combined stake is now worth $795 million. Soesanto moved from Indonesia more than 40 years ago to manage the company’s first biscuit factory in the Philippines.

Brothers Keng Sun and Peter Mar, grandsons of Mar Chew, founder of biscuit maker M.Y. San, make their debut with a $410 million fortune shared with their family. The Mars acquired shares in Monde Nissin after they sold M.Y. San (which is now called Monde M.Y. San) to the noodle maker in two tranches—60% in 2001 and the remaining in January, ahead of the IPO. 

Monde Nissin plans to use half of the IPO proceeds to expand its alternative meat brand Quorn in the U.S., after purchasing the British company in 2015 for £550 million ($760 million) in what was the company’s biggest-ever acquisition. Monde Nissin’s shares are up 24% since the listing.

While revenue flatlined, the company’s net profit plunged 96% year-on-year to 204 million pesos in the first half of this year, due to exceptional charges from the redemption of convertible bonds and the rising cost of raw materials such as palm oil and wheat.

First Metro Securities analyst Estella Dhel Villamiel is optimistic earnings will recover this year. “High commodity prices are transitory and should be mitigated by price increases as well as efficiency programs in place,” she says by email. 

Ang and Darmono launched Monde Nissin, then a small biscuit factory in Laguna, south of Manila, with 4 million pesos in 1979, expanding to instant noodles a decade later. After slugging it out with rivals such as Nestle’s Maggi and Universal Robina’s Nissin Ramen for over three decades, Monde Nissin’s Lucky Me! brand has carved out a 70% share of the Philippine instant noodle market, according to Nielsen data. The company also distributes beverages, breads, milk products and sauces.

The Tycoon Herald