Thai TPIP creditors approve debt plan

Thai TPIP creditors approve debt plan
Published: 28 October 2004

Creditors of TPI Polene PCL, Thailand’s No. 3 cement maker, approved on Thursday a plan to restructure its $600 million debt, a Justice Ministry official said, driving its shares up nearly three percent.  "Some 99.89 percent of creditors voted in favour of the company’s request to revise the debt plan," he told reporters.

The major creditors include Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank and German development bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau. The vote will enable the firm to extend its debt revamp period and revise the terms of debt payment, the official said.

The news propelled TPIP shares up almost three percent to 26 baht at 0440 GMT, outpacing a 0.24 percent rise in the overall Thai stock market. The stock had fallen more than five percent to a two-month low on Wednesday.

The plan would now be submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court on Nov. 9 for approval.  TPIP asked the court to give it 12 more months, until the end of 2005, to restructure its debt as it wanted to repay overdue interest of 5 billion baht ($121 million) in cash instead of converting it into equity.

Late last month, the court rejected the company’s request, saying TPIP had to renegotiate the debt plan with creditors and re-submit it.

TPIP, 49 percent owned by Thailand’s biggest corporate debtor, Thai Petrochemical Industry, has been restructuring $1.1 billion of debt since 2001.

It raised $285 million from a public share offer in January and used the proceeds to buy back debt at a discount, which helped reduce its debt to $600 million. ($1=41.20 Baht).