Hua Kee studies restructuring for Thai petrochemical holding

1998/10/18

THAI minority investor Hua Kee Group, is studying the possibility of forming a holding company for its petrochemical interests to strengthen the financial position of these companies and to continue further investment in petrochemicals.

The new holding company will comprise a combination of the Hua Kee Group's stakes in HMC Polymers, Bangkok Polyethylene, Bangkok Synthetics, BST Elastomers, Bang-kok Industrial Gas and Bangkok Cogeneration. The Hua Kee Group decline to disclose its shares in these companies.

Preliminary discussions with a potential foreign investor to take a stake in this holding company are ongoing. Bangkok Bank has also been invited to take a stake. But the bank has yet to make a decision on its participation.

Contrary to news reports, Bangkok Bank is not looking to reorganise its petrochemical interests, said Pichit Nithivasin, executive manager of the Hua Kee Group and managing director of HMC Polymers.

The structure of the new holding company is expected to become clearer towards the end of the year, Pichit said.

HMC Polymers produces 320 000 tonne/ year of PP. Montell owns 41% of the company and Bangkok Bank, 10%. International Finance Corp owns 6.5% and the balance is held by Thais including the Hua Kee family.

Bangkok Polyethylene operates a 200 000 tonne/year hdPE plant. Bangkok Bank holds a 40% stake in the company and Mitsui Chemicals, 35%. The balance is held by Thai companies including the Hua Kee family.

BST Elastomers has just started its new 40 000 tonne/year butadiene-rubber and 60 000 tonne/year styrene-butadiene rubber facility in Mab Ta Phut, Rayong (see p39).