* Says in talks to acquire more new business to boost growth (Recast with company comments on revenue, acquisition)
BANGKOK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Thai dry bulk carrier Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL expects revenues to rise more than 40 percent in its fiscal year ending September 2015 due to improving freight rates and higher contributions from energy and fertilizer businesses.
The forecast came after the Thai shipper said it was buying a stake in Sino Grandness Food Industry Group Ltd, its first step into the food and beverage sector, which it said was growing quickly in China, where Sino Grandness is headquartered.
“The deal is in line with the company’s plan to invest in on high growth business,” Chief Executive Officer Chalermchai Mahagitsiri told reporters.
Wholly owned subsidiary Soleado Holdings Pte will buy 60.6 million new Sino Grandness shares for S$0.610 each, a discount of 8 percent to Tuesday’s closing price, Thoresen Thai said. The deal is valued at 954 million baht ($29.4 million).
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Sino Grandness, a producer and distributor of canned food and fruit beverages, was not available for comment outside of regular business hours. Late on Tuesday, it had requested trading of its shares be halted “pending release of an announcement”.
Hit by oversupply in the dry bulk shipping business since 2010, the company has diversified into the energy, fertilizer and infrastructure sectors.
Thoresen is also in talks with two to three other companies in new businesses, and one deal is expected to be completed this year, Chalermchai said.
Asked about the impact of weak Thai exports, which fell 7.4 percent in August, he said Thoresen’s shipping business was barely affected given most of its contracts were with customers in Singapore, Malaysia and further afield.
Thoresen posted its third straight quarter of profit in the April-June quarter after a recovery in dry bulk shipping. ($1 = 32.4500 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Christopher Cushing)