Thailand’s number three cement maker, TPI Polene PCL, said on Wednesday it is considering a plan to sell US$650m of bonds to refinance existing debts. The bond issue would be a substitute for loan the company was seeking from state-run Krung Thai Bank, one of its creditors, chief executive Prachai Leophairatana told reporters. "We haven’t got reply from Krung Thai Bank on whether they will give us the loan. If not, a bond issue will be another option. The amount we need is $650m," Prachai said. He gave no timeframe and said TPI Polene had sufficient cash to cover payments of principal and interest.
TPI Polene, 49 percent owned by Thailand’s biggest corporate debtor, Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI.BK), has been restructuring its $1.1 billion debt since 2001. Creditors include Thailand’s biggest commercial bank, Bangkok Bank PCL and German development bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wideraufbau (KfW).
Prachai said the amount of the bond issue was lower than a previously announced $750 million due to decline in debt burden. The company says its debt has fallen to 32 billion baht ($811m) because it repaid some debt after raising about $285m in a public share offer to buy back debt at a steep discount in January.
"With EBITDA of 7.2 billion baht, we will be able to service our debt," he said. The company had an operating profit of 2.8 billion baht last year due to higher cement sales and prices as the construction sector boomed.