TTA announces special interim stock dividend
Bangkok, Thailand, 6 December 2012 -- Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited ("TTA") today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the payment of a special interim dividend for the financial year that ended on 30 September 2012. The stock dividend will be allocated to shareholders whose names appear on TTA’s share register book on 25 December 2012 at a ratio of one stock dividend share to 25 existing shares.
“Since the Company is in the process of calling for a capital increase in order to make timely investments in its dry bulk shipping business and potentially support the expansion of its offshore oil and gas services business, it would not be appropriate to pay out a cash dividend at this time,” commented M.L. Chandchutha Chandratat, TTA’s President & CEO. “However, although our fiscal year 2012 results were negative, this was largely due to non-cash extraordinary items. In fact, there is no doubt that the year also ushered in fundamental improvements in our two largest businesses, namely Thoresen Shipping and Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited (“Mermaid”). These improvements in our operations, coupled with an anticipated turnaround in 2013, compelled the Board of Directors to reward all existing shareholders with this special stock dividend.”
At a ratio of 25:1, the dividend represents an approximate yield of 4% based on a 15-day volume weighted average share price of THB 15.35. The payout is equivalent to a cash dividend of approximately THB 0.60 per share, but will not affect TTA’s cash position since the dividend will be paid in stock.
The agenda of TTA’s Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (“EGM”) has been amended in order to give shareholders the opportunity to consider the special stock dividend as well as the issuance of an additional 28,320,176 shares to be allocated towards the dividend payment. The EGM was originally called in October to allow shareholders to vote on TTA’s proposed 1:1 rights offering, the proceeds of which will be used to fund a renewal of Thoresen Shipping’s fleet, potential expansion for Mermaid, and other opportunistic investments that leverage on our existing businesses.
“Since announcing plans to carry out our rights offering plan, TTA has carried out a series of road shows, focus groups, and meetings with existing shareholders and the investor community at large to gain a better understanding of their views. In particular, we asked investors for their opinions on the growth trajectory we have set for Thoresen Shipping and Mermaid. We have received largely positive feedback, matching the opinion held by both management and the Board that timely investments in these two businesses will help build long-term shareholder value. We want to thank shareholders for their support and are hopeful that the proposed issuance of this stock dividend will open up expanded opportunities for investors to participate in the Company’s future success,” concluded M.L. Chandchutha.
Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited (TTA) is a strategic investment holding company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (TTA:TB). Its investment strategy is to grow through a balanced and diversified business portfolio of transport, energy, and infrastructure assets, both domestically and internationally. TTA’s evolution from a dry bulk shipping operator began in 1995 with an investment in Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited, which has since been listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (MMT:SP). Since then, TTA has acquired interests in fertiliser and logistics (Baconco Co., Ltd.) coal-related businesses (Merton Group (Cyprus) Limited, Qing Mei Pte.Ltd., and Unique Mining Services Public Company Limited), petroleum tankers (Petrolift, Inc) and a port in Southern Vietnam (Baria Joint Stock Company of Service for Import Export of Agro Forestry Products and Fertilizers). For more information, please visit www.thoresen.com