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Wed, November 29, 2006 : Last updated 11:31 am (Thai local time)

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Home > Business > Skytrain operator told to regroup its creditors

Skytrain operator told to regroup its creditors

BTS faces paying additional Bt13.7 bn under revised schedule

The Central Bank-ruptcy Court has instructed Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) to regroup its creditors as requested by the Thai Asset Management Corporation (TAMC).

The decision will result in the postponement of creditors voting on the Skytrain operator's business rehabilitation plan, which was due to take place tomorrow.

The current plan has divided BTS creditors into 14 groups from a total of 28 local and foreign creditors. The largest creditor is Deutsche Bank AG London with total loans of Bt24.48 billion, of which Bt16.17 billion is principal and Bt8.31 billion interest, while BTS owes Bt6.77 billion to TAMC.

Somjate Moosirilert, TMAC's managing director, said the court had ordered BTS to add its remaining 23-year concession value and deposit accounts incurred from operation into collateral.

The remaining concession is estimated to have a value of around Bt20 billion.

Regrouping of creditors and adding value to collateral would increase the amount to be paid by BTS to creditors with collateral from Bt7.3 billion to Bt21 billion.

BTS chairman and plan administrator Keeree Kanjanapas said he was ready to follow the court's order.

"Although the order will delay creditors' voting, I hope that it [regrouping of creditors] will help accelerate the company's business rehabilitation because creditors' objections would be reduced," he told reporters yesterday.

He will meet official receivers to discuss and set the date for a creditors' meeting to approve the plan.

BTS's existing plan is to restructure Bt67.77 billion of its debts of Bt77.73 billion. BTS would have to reduce its capital by as much as 90 per cent to write off its Bt20-billion retained losses. Then the company would increase capital by 13.8 billion shares with par value of Bt1 per share within 180 days after the capital reduction with an option to extend for another 180 days. However, the plan does not indicate clearly who would be the buyer of the shares and at what price.

According to BTS's 2006 financial statement ended March 31, its revenues amounted to Bt3.07 billion, of which Bt2.8 billion came from fares.

Siriporn Chanjindamanee

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