Thai TCC to renegotiate with Metro on acquisition of Vietnam unit

Reuters

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Thai TCC to renegotiate with Metro on acquisition of Vietnam unit

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Thailand's TCC Holding Co, the largest investor in Berli Jucker PCL (BJC), plans to enter talks with Metro AG to renegotiate conditions of a deal to buy the German retailer's Vietnam unit after the original sale agreement was rejected by BJC's minority shareholders.
TCC Holding, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, will acquire Metro Vietnam itself, instead of BJC, if the latter's shareholders reject a renegotiated deal, BJC said on Friday. TCC Holding has a 73.7 percent stake in BJC, but the Metro Vietnam deal is conditional on approval by 75 percent of BJC investors.
BJC agreed in August to buy cash-and-carry wholesaler Metro Vietnam for 655 million euros ($876 million) to expand into the fast-growing consumer goods sector in Southeast Asia.
BJC, the flagship business in TCC's consumer goods and trading operations, has been active in buying assets elsewhere in Southeast Asia to offset slowing demand at home.
But BJC shareholders rejected the acquisition on Thursday after an independent financial advisor said terms of the deal agreement could add to the buyer's financial burden.
The rejected deal involved a condition that Vietnamese authorities may request BJC to show other payment documents, apart from a bank guarantee for 655 million euros, a company official said. The official, who declined to be named, said Vietnamese authorities could also request the transfer of 655 million euros to Metro's capital account.
Under that condition, BJC would need more funding and seek a loan of up to 40 billion baht ($1.22 billion), higher than earlier estimate of 12 billion baht, according to the official.
Despite the setback, BJC still hopes the acquisition can be completed in the first half of this year as originally planned, he said.

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