Thai state power firm EGAT to raise $321 mln via infrastructure fund
BANGKOK Nov 1 (Reuters) - State-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) said on Friday it planned to raise at least 10 billion baht ($321 million) by listing an infrastructure fund to help finance construction of new power plants and transmission lines.
EGAT, the country's largest power producer with installed capacity of 15,00 megawatts, will transfer revenue and future cash flow of a major power plant to the 15-25 year fund, Governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate told reporters.
The power firm appointed Siam Commercial Bank, the country's third largest lender by assets, as financial adviser for the launch of the fund.
"We hope the highest amount to be raised should be around 15-17 billion baht, but it depends on the result of the investors roadshow," Soonchai said, adding the initial public offering of the fund should be in the second or third quarter of 2014.
The state power firm aims to spend about 400 billion baht during 2014-2018 to build new power plants and upgrade transmission networks, he said.
With assets of more than $16 billion, EGAT is the sole power buyer, which purchases electricity from private power firms and neighbouring countries. It also owns and operates a high voltage transmission network covering all parts of the country.
EGAT is among several Thai firms that raises money through such funds, and BTS Group earlier this year raised $2.13 billion via the initial public offering of a similar-styled infrastructure fund. The success of that IPO has encouraged other firms to tap equity capital markets.
In 2006, EGAT planned to raise up to $855 million from an equity sale as part of a partial privatisation, but the share sale was scrapped on the eve of its IPO after protests by a coalition of anti-privatisation groups. ($1 = 31.1250 Thai baht) (Reporting by Pisit Changplayngam; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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