17 August 2004 06:43 [Source: ICIS news]
SINAGPORE (CNI)--Thailand’s NFC Fertilizer, formerly the National Fertilizer Co (NFC), has completed the repayment of its debts and expects to exit its debt rehabilitation programme next month, the company said on Tuesday.
In a statement coinciding with its first-half financial results, NFC said it had completed the settlement of its debts as of 30 July, including the forgiveness of debts worth Baht10.48bn ($252m/Euro203m).
The company’s main creditor was the Thai Asset Management Corp (TAMC), which was formed in 2001 by the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to buy non-performing loans from banks and assist companies in restructuring their debt.
NFC said it would file an application to exit its business rehabilitation plan in September.
NFC officials were unavailable for comment on Tuesday. However, speaking to CNI last month, a source close to the company’s chairman said that NFC was close to paying down its debt and was expected to seek a new injection of funds for working capital after exiting its the debt plan.
He said NFC would need a fresh cash injection or line of credit to allow it to resume full production.
NFC posted a net loss in the first half of the year, mostly due to losses related to debt restructuring. The company’s production was also severely curbed due to a lack of working capital.
Its fertiliser sales fell to Baht617m from Baht1.36bn a year earlier. In volume terms the company sold 77 215 tonne of fertiliser compared with 205 512 tonne in the first half of 2003.
As well as the debt forgiveness, NFC paid down Baht188.3m through the conversion of debt to assets, Baht583m through the conversion of debt to equity and Baht200m through the conversion of debt to debentures.
It also paid Baht1.59bn in debts after receiving a capital injection from its strategic investor, a consortium led by NFC chief executive CEO Nuttaphob Ratanasuwanthawee, and Baht78m using cash held in deposit.
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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