The Largest IPO Since Facebook Prices

No U.S. company has dared to go public since last month’s disastrous Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) IPO. Today a Malaysian company took a crack at it.

Felda Global Ventures, a Malaysian-based palm-oil company, raised $3.13 billion in its initial public offering today – the second-largest IPO in the world in 2012. While that pales in comparison to Facebook’s record-breaking $16 billion deal, it’s an extremely large amount of money given the uncertainty dominating the global markets at the moment.

Felda Global reached the $3.13 billion mark by selling 2.19 billion shares at 4.55 ringgit (a Malaysian currency) a piece to institutional investors and 4.46 ringgit a share to retail investors. The IPO sale values the company at $5.22 billion.

Felda Global is one of Malaysia’s largest diversified agro-business ventures and one of the largest palm-oil producers in the world. Palm oil is a versatile natural resource that can be found in products such as margarine, cereal, soaps, lipsticks and biodiesel fuels. Palm oil is often referred to as “vegetable oil” on product labels.

Felda Global shares will be listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange beginning June 28.

While most of you probably don’t spend much time investing in Malaysian stocks, how Felda Global behaves once it begins public trading will be an interesting litmus test for the health of the global financial markets. If the stock plummets below its IPO price as fast as Facebook shares did, then it will be yet another cautionary tale for big companies contemplating going public.

Facebook has famously nosedived since its much-hyped May 18 IPO. At $27.45 a share, the stock has dropped 28% below its $38 IPO price in less than a month.

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