Exxon Thai unit to raise $350 mln from IPO

Business Materials 23 April 2008 09:27 (UTC +04:00)

Esso ( Thailand), a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp, should raise 11 billion baht ($350 million) from an initial public offering this month in Thailand's largest IPO so far this year. ( Reuters )

The company has set its IPO price at 10 baht ($0.318) a share, near the lower end of an indicative range of 9.0-13.0 baht, a source close to the deal said on Wednesday.

"Most people think 10 baht is appropriate," the financial source told Reuters ahead of Esso's shareholder meeting later in the day on the IPO price.

Esso (Thailand), 87.5 percent owned by Exxon Mobil, plans to sell to up to 1.1 billion shares, of which 326.25 million shares come from the Finance Ministry, to domestic and foreign investors.

Lead underwriter Phatra Securities PHAT.BK said on Monday Esso would exercise a "greenshoe" option to sell an additional 84.58 million shares to the public after domestic investors have shown strong interest.

If the greenshoe option is exercised, the firm will raise about 11.84 billion baht. Most of the proceeds from the share sale will be used to repay debt.

Esso operates a complex refinery with a capacity of 177,000 barrels per day, and a paraxylene plant with an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes.

Morgan Stanley is lead underwriter for foreign markets. ($1=31.43 Baht)