By Pavida Pananond and Thitinan Pongsudhirak
Just when Thailand’s corporate footprints in the global marketplace are gaining visibility with recent high-profile takeovers of foreign companies by local titans such as ThaiBev and CP Group, its largest-ever domestic takeover deal is generating the wrong kind of publicity.
Following some unusual share price movements, the Thai authorities have belatedly launched an investigation of CP All’s $6.6bn purchase of the cash-and-carry Siam Makro, 64-per-cent owned by Dutch conglomerate SHV Holdings.
Officials need to make sure the case is handled properly, given the country’s poor record with such investigations. If Thailand wants to join the big league of capital markets, alongside Hong Kong and Singapore, its financial regulators need a stiff upgrading.
Tens of millions of Thai baht worth of stock trades later, the shoe has finally dropped: the Stock Exchange of Thailand is launching a probe into share price movements of cash-and-carry retailer Siam Makro ahead of Monday’s $6.6bn takeover offer by CP All, the country’s biggest convenience store operator.
As beyondbrics noted, the market was buzzing with rumours for weeks before the announcement.
The biggest domestic M&A deal in Thai history – a $6.6bn takeover by convenience store giant CP All of Siam Makro, a cash-and-carry bulk retailer with just 62 outlets in Thailand – made headlines on Tuesday.
But as one analyst asked on Wednesday, who is kidding who?
By Gwen Robinson and Jake Maxwell Watts
Dhanin Chearavanont, the 73-year-old patriarch of the Charoen Pokphand group of companies, told a business gathering in Bangkok some months ago the time was right for Thai companies to go shopping abroad. On Wednesday, Dhanin put his money where his mouth was, sealing a $9.4bn deal to buy HSBC’s entire 15.6 per cent stake in China’s second-largest insurer, Ping An.