January 21, 2018 / 10:02 PM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-Australian sandalwood group Quintis appoints administrators

(Corrects market cap to A$115 mln from A$390 mln in final paragraph)

MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Australia’s largest sandalwood forest company, Quintis Ltd, has called in administrators after one of its bondholders forced the firm to pay out A$37 million ($30 million), a spokesman for the administrators, KordaMentha, said on Monday.

Quintis has been trying to raise new financing over the past nine months, but none of the recapitalisation strategies, including a buyout by the company’s former managing director, have reached completion.

Bondholder Asia Pacific Investments DAC, connected with U.S. fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management, triggered a put option last Friday requiring Quintis to buy 400 hectares of plantations for about A$37 million by Feb. 2.

“Asia Pacific Investments exercised the option that pushed the company into administration,” a spokesman for KordaMentha said.

A spokesman for Quintis was not immediately available for comment.

Quintis, formerly known as TFS Corp, owns sandalwood plantations in northern Australia. Oil from the trees is sold to India and China for fragrances, cosmetics and medicinal uses.

KordaMentha plans to run the 20-year-old business as normal, while assessing how best to recover value for all its investors.

Quintis shares last traded in May 2017, valuing the company at A$115 million.

$1 = 1.2505 Australian dollars Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Paul Simao

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