TPI plans loss wipe-out
TPI Polene plans to wipe out its accumulated losses of 19 billion baht this year, according to Prachai Leophairatana, the cement company's rehabilitation plan administrator. He said that wiping out the losses would involve using seven billion baht from the company's capital reserves, about 130 million baht from gains from interest rate reductions granted by creditors and 10 billion baht from a public share offering scheduled for next week. TPI Polene will offer 300 million new shares, with an expected price between 40 and 50 baht each. Subscriptions will run from Thursday to Jan 19. "I expect to get at least US$300 million (7.6 billion baht) from the offering, an amount equal to what Holcim of Switzerland had offered to inject into the company," Mr Prachai said. "The creditors have promised to give a writedown of 10-20 per cent on interest if I recapitalise the company with an amount equal to what was offered by Holcim." The company expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to rise 30 percent to eight billion baht this year, on higher economic growth and cement consumption. Mr Prachai said that if the share offering was successful, the company would proceed with the refinancing plan it has been negotiating with Krung Thai Bank. TPI Polene's outstanding debts are 38 billion baht with interest payments of $50 million a year. The debt would be reduced to 26 billion baht with interest of $30 million after the recapitalisation. TPI Polene yesterday reported an unaudited net profit of 4.78 billion baht last year, compared with a net loss of 1.49 billion baht in 2002. Mr Prachai said consolidated revenue last year rose 45 per cent to 22.73 billion baht.