The Nation



Big-name lawyer, investor promise good ties after acquiring 27% of TWZ



Well-known lawyer Wichai Thongtang along with affluent investor Wichai Wachirapong will buy a combined 27-per-cent equity stake in TWZ Corporation, a listed distributor of telecommunication peripherals, in the hope of bringing in connections for expansion into the free-to-air digital TV business.

The pair acquired 2 billion shares allocated by TWZ via private placement after being approved by the board of directors on Thursday, said managing director Piyanuch Rangkasiri.

"The entry of these new shareholders reflect their confidence in TWZ's strength," she said.

She said she believed that Wichai Thongtang and Wichai Wachirapong would help back up the company's financial position and support its growth.

TWZ has diversified into other businesses such as digital TV and broadband services.

Wichai Thongtang, a lawyer who advised ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in his assets-concealment case, has good connections with affluent businesspeople after jumping into the business field. He has acquired equity shares of various businesses such as hospitals, restaurants and cable television. Recently he became a major shareholder of pay-TV operator CTH, in which Vachara Vacharapol, an owner of Thairath TV channel, holds a 25-per-cent stake.

"Wichai Thongtang's good connections in various businesses will help TWZ expand its business into digital TV," Piyanuch said.

Both Wichais were offered TWZ shares at a price of Bt0.353 each, for a total transaction value of Bt494.2 million. TWZ's share price yesterday closed at Bt0.50 each, surging 8.7 per cent from the previous day. The 2 billion shares account for 27 per cent of the company's paid-up capital.

On Wednesday, TWZ was given approval at a shareholders meeting for a capital increase by 4.09 billion shares. Of that, 2 billion shares were set for allocation on a private placement basis. The remaining increase was set for allocation to existing shareholders and on a general mandate basis.

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