Exclusive: Thailand's PTT studies proposal for retail business IPO - sources

Thu Jun 2, 2016 4:08am EDT
 
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By Denny Thomas, Saeed Azhar and Khettiya Jittapong

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE/BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's biggest energy company PTT is examining a proposal to list its retail business and is expected to complete the study in the third quarter of this year, the state-backed company's investor relations official told Reuters on Thursday.

PTT has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co and Phatra Securities to advise on the potential IPO, people familiar with the matter said. The sources declined to be identified as the information was not yet public. Kasikorn Securities, brokerage unit of Kasikornbank, has also been hired as an advisor, a Kasikorn official said.

Last month, PTT invited banks to make pitches and then selected the three to work on the IPO, the people added.

PTT's retail division may be valued between $2 billion and $3 billion, the people said. One of the proposals being considered includes bringing in a strategic partner before the likely IPO in 2017, they added.

A successful listing would rank among Thailand's largest IPOs. BTS Group's $2.13 billion IPO holds the record for Thailand's biggest.

PTT, like other global energy companies hit by slumping oil prices, is trying to find new ways to fund its capital spending needs. PTT plans to invest 297 billion baht ($8 billion) during 2016-2020, of which 50.8 billion baht is earmarked for this year.

It is also catching up with the global trend that has seen a series of oil companies selling their low-margin fuel marketing businesses.

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The logo of PTT is pictured at an exhibition hall in Bangkok, Thailand, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha