09 July 2004 05:21 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Thai National Fertilizer Co's (NFC) CEO tender offer for all outstanding company shares was made on behalf of a consortium of 10 investors, NFC said Friday in its filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The tender offer was part of the company's ongoing debt restructuring plan.
NFC’s CEO Nuttaphob Ratanasuwanthawee on 5 July announced a Baht1.72bn ($42.2m/Euro34.3m) tender offer for all the shares in NFC he does not already own. Nuttaphob, who is also chairman of Thai chemicals logistics company SC Group, was obliged to launch the tender offer for NFC under Thai stock exchange rules when his shareholding in the company rose above the 25% trigger mark.
The consortium, which was chosen as a strategic investor by NFC’s debt-plan administrator, includes the director of Thaipicon and Industry Co, Direk Chatpimonkul. Thaipicon was picked as a strategic investor for NFC along with China’s Xiyang Group.
A source close to Nuttaphob told CNI on Friday that the new group of strategic investors was approved by the debt plan administrator after the Chinese fertiliser company pulled out of the deal. He couldn’t say why the Xiyang Group pulled out.
The source said that NFC was near the end of its debt-restructuring process and he could not foresee any problems with the new group of investors gaining control of the company. The remaining major creditor, the Thai Asset Management Corp (TAMC), and the Central Bankruptcy Court were not expected to have any objections to the tender offer.
The state-run TAMC was founded in 2001 by the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to buy non-performing loans from banks and assist companies in restructuring their debt.
Although NFC had pared down its debt to very low levels, the company was still short on working capital, the source said. NFC may seek a cash injection through new loans when the new consortium of investors takes over.
NFC’s debt plan administrators were also in the process of changing the company’s board of directors to reflect the new investments in the company.
NFC, which is located in the Mab Ta Phut petrochemical complex in Rayong Province, has a capacity to produce 280 000 tonne/year of phosphoric acid, 460 000 tonne/year of sulphuric acid and 1.1m tonne/year of nitrophosphate.
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