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Thai trading firm Berli to raise $6 bln via equity, bond issues
May 26, 2016 / 4:46 AM / 2 years ago

Thai trading firm Berli to raise $6 bln via equity, bond issues

BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Berli Jucker Pcl 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.

Berli, the retail flagship of Thai tycoon Charoan 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 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 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 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 its 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.

The 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 Thai unit. ($1 = 35.5700 baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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