Court denies ex-TPI chief right to purchase shares

Court denies ex-TPI chief right to purchase shares
Published: 27 July 2005

The Central Bankruptcy Court dismissed a petition by company founder Prachai Leophairatana demanding to purchase 249 million shares of TPI Polene Plc, the country’s third largest cement maker, the Bangkok Post reports.  
Prachai, on behalf of TPI Polene’s rehabilitation plan administrator, last week asked the court for permission to buy the shares, totalling around 31 per cent of the number currently held by parent Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc (TPI), for $1 each, while he negotiated the swap of shares of TPI Polene’s low-density polyethylene (LDPE) manufacturing plant as payment for the TPI Polene share purchase.  
Judge Kamol Teeravetponkul dismissed Mr Prachai’s petition in its entirety. However, he ruled that under the law, negotiations are possible only when both parties agree.   "You (Mr. Prachai) are not eligible to ask for a reopening of the mediation session with the TPI plan administrator because I had allowed you such a session, but you failed to make peace," the judge said. 
Siri Jirapongphan, a member of TPI planning team appointed by the Finance Ministry, said that the earlier negotiations failed because Mr. Prachai did not intend to find a solution. "Since we asked him to show us an offer in writing, he has been quiet, and we can’t accept a verbal proposal," Mr. Siri said.   The TPI planners have insisted that if Mr. Prachai wants to buy TPI Polene shares, he must participate in the auction like any other investor. 
So far, at least five investors have expressed interest in participating in the bidding for TPI Polene shares. They include both local and foreign cement firms and financial institutions.   The auction is part of TPI’s $2.7-billion debt restructuring plan approved by the court last November.