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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Thailand's wealthiest man said to plan $1.5bn property IPO

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group asks banks to pitch for a role on the share sale by its Asset World Corp unit, sources say

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi plans to float AWC in Bangkok. Getty Images
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi plans to float AWC in Bangkok. Getty Images

Thailand’s richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is planning an initial public offering of a domestic property business that could raise at least $1.5 billion, sources said.

The tycoon’s TCC Group conglomerate has asked banks to pitch for a role on the share sale by its Asset World Corp (AWC) unit, they said. He aims to list AWC in Bangkok next year.

AWC develops shopping centres and office space in Thailand and has a hospitality business. Its projects include Empire Tower and Interlink Tower in the country’s capital, as well as malls such as OP Place, Gateway Ekamai and Centerpoint of Siam Square, according to AWC’s website.

The firm’s hotels include Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Banyan Tree Samui, Le Meridien Chiang Mai and the Marriott resort in Hua Hin. AWC has more than 6,500 employees, the website shows.

Details of the offering are still being discussed and the size of the deal could change depending on market conditions. Representatives for TCC Group’s property division and AWC declined to comment.

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AWC recorded about 6.4 billion baht (Dh719.8 million) of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation last year on revenue of 20bn baht, according to the company representative. It had about 140bn baht of assets at the end of 2017, the representative said, confirming figures given by an AWC executive earlier this year.

First-time share sales in Thailand have raised $2bn this year, compared with $2.3bn during the same period in 2017, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Energy drink maker Osotspa, which just completed the year’s biggest corporate IPO in the country, gained 9 per cent on its trading debut Wednesday.

Mr Charoen is Thailand’s richest man with a net worth of $11.9bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He controls Thai Beverage and Bangkok-listed consumer goods distributor Berli Jucker.

Some of his group’s overseas real estate businesses are already publicly traded, including Frasers Property, which has a market value of $3.3bn. That company has previously spun off several property trusts in Singapore that own hotels, office buildings, warehouses and retail space.