Siam Cement Group (SCG), the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, has set aside an investment budget of at least Bt100bn (US$3.3bn) for the next five years, mainly to expand its domestic and overseas business through mergers and acquisitions.
Kan Trakulhoon, president and CEO of SCG, said yesterday that M&A is still a key tool to expand SCG’s business, particularly overseas. The investment will be geared towards core businesses - petrochemicals, paper and cement. In particular, SCG will invest an extra Bt6 billion, left over from the pre-vious investment period 2006-|2010, in the petrochemical business. In the previous five-year period, the investment budget was set at Bt150bn.
Of the total investment, a major chunk will be set aside for M&A |in the petrochemical business. |Parts of it will finance investment |in the petrochemical complex in Vietnam, depending on SCG’s |stake in the complex which will |be finalised early next year, Kan |said. In the pipeline is also a |cement plant in Indonesia, which should require a budget of at |least Bt10bn, he added.
Kan reiterated that M&A is the most convenient means to grow business, as new facilities will take a longer time to go on-stream.
"We have set up a team for M&A. If it’s possible, we would like to acquire more packaging paper and building material businesses overseas," he said.
The company has set a higher target for its construction materials business in Vietnam as one of its two strategic markets in the ASEAN region. The other market that the group focuses on is the Philippines. This year it plans to increase its sales by at least 30 per cent over 2009 to reach US$9.1m. The turnover is expected to rise to US$12.8m next year, according to Anuvat Chalermchai, brand director for SCG Building Materials.