BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s Berli Jucker Pcl (BJC.BK) said it planned to sell bonds and new shares via a rights issue and a private placement to raise up to 214 billion baht ($6.02 billion) and pay debt used to fund its acquisition of Big C Supercenter Pcl (BIGC.BK).
The fund raising is part of Berli’s capital restructuring plan and for strengthening its balance sheet after money raised for the acquisition increased its debt to equity ratio to 4.98 times.
Berli’s stock extended losses to close 6.6 percent lower at 35.25 baht on Thursday.
Berli, the retail flagship of Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC group, secured a $6.2 billion short-term financial deal with 15 banks to buy the hypermarket operator from France’s Casino (CASP.PA) in March.
The company said in a statement on Thursday that it would issue up to 2.4 billion new shares, of which 1.6 billion would be offered via a rights issue at 35 baht each.
Another 800 million would be privately placed to specific investors. The offer price will be fixed later but should not be lower than 35 baht each, Berli said.
Apart from the 84 billion baht to be raised from the share offer, Berli said it planned to sell up to 130 billion baht of bonds, and the proceeds will be used to repay debt.
The plan is subject to approval from shareholders on June 29.
Berli, 74 percent owned by TCC Group, controls 97.94 percent of Big C after a tender offer closed on May 11. Berli won a hotly contested auction for Casino’s 58.6 percent stake in Big C.
TCC Group has intention to subscribe to the new shares based on its holding proportion, Berli said, adding TCC may buy any unsubscribed shares if other shareholders do not exercise their rights, and would seek waiver for a tender offer from the regulator.
The Big C acquisition deal will offer the parent group access to Thailand’s large-format retail business and well-invested supply chain, while Berli will be well-positioned for expansion into Southeast Asia, the company said.
Big C has a market share of 43 percent, making it Thailand’s second-largest hypermarket operator, after Tesco’s (TSCO.L) Thai unit.
Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Ryan Woo and Biju Dwarakanath