18 September 2002 04:01 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--The search by Thailand's National Fertiliser Co (NFC) for a strategic investor is likely to be delayed until the first quarter of 2003 due to problems with finalising a debt-restructuring deal, an NFC source said.
NFC asked the Thai Asset Management Corp (TMC) to appoint a financial adviser to come up with a new debt-restructuring plan early this month. An earlier plan finalised by PricewaterhouseCoopers last month did not meet TMC's expectations, the source said.
TMC has been deputed by NFC to supervise the finalisation of a deal to restructure the Thai fertiliser major's debt of Baht8.3bn (US$196.6m). This is third debt plan to be drawn up for NFC
TMC had originally appointed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to come up with NFC's restructuring plan in March. That too did not meet the approval of TMC.
The debt-restructuring plan and the equity sale are imperative for the rescue of the financially troubled fertiliser company.
NFC recorded a net loss of Baht510.4m in the first half of its financial year to 30 June 2002, compared to a net loss of Baht488.4m in H1 2001, due to a sharp drop in fertiliser production caused by severe liquidity problems.
The company does not expect to significantly reduce its net loss for full-year 2002 compared to 2001. NFC posted a net loss of Baht1.8bn in 2001, due largely to its yearly interest payments of Baht900m.
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