Matichon purchase 'pure investment'
- Published: 3/05/2013 at 02:01 PM
- Online news:
Somporn Juangroongruangkit, owner of automobile parts manufacturer Thai Summit Group, said on Friday her decision to spend about 470 million baht buying a large stake in newspaper publisher Matichon Plc is purely investment oriented.
Somporn: No hidden agenda in investment in Matichon Plc.
She said the publisher of Matichon, Khao Sod and Prachachart newspapers displayed sound business performance and good potential, laying waste to the suggestion that the deal could be politcally motivated.
GMM Multimedia Plc (GMMM) on Thursday sold 41 million shares of its holding in Matichon Plc at an average of 11.09 baht apiece. There was much speculation about who the buyer was. Finally Ms Somporn gave an interview to a radio station confirming that her son, Thanathorn, had in fact purchased the shares.
He will become the second largest shareholder of Matichon with 22.12% ownership. The largest shareholder is the company's chairman and founder Kanchai Boonpan, holding 34.93%, or 64.74 million shares. Matichon has total paid-up shares of 185.349 million.
Ms Somporn said she has no plan to send an executive to manage the company. "Matichon is a good company that generates profit every year. It's not necessary that a new shareholder comes in and expels the old team. I have been in industry for over 30 years, I am of the view that, in addition to real estate, the media is an interesting industry," she said.
Matichon dividends were worth 0.50 baht per share in 2012. It reported 104.13 million baht profit in the same year.
Matichon's share price on the Stock Exchange of Thailand was 9.55 baht at the end of Friday's morning trading session, down 0.95 baht with a thin trade of 763,100 shares worth 7.52 million baht.
In September 2005, entertainment tycoon Paiboon Damrongchaitham, founder of Grammy, bought a stake in Matichon through GMMM at an average price of 11.10 baht a share. Although Mr Paiboon incurred some loss from selling this shareholding, he had received dividends from his investment in Matichon.
Ms Somporn first invested in newspapers in 2003, when she bought a large stake in Nation Multimedia Group, the publisher of The Nation, Krungthep Thurakit and Kom Chad Luek newspapers. She sold these shares in 2010, shouldering a loss of approximately 200 million baht.
She said she exited the Nation Group because she saw no future there, and it was wiser to re-invest the money in other industries that would yield a good return.
At that time, she did not realise that the buyer was Sermsin Samalapa, the chief executive of the SET-listed property holding company Natural Park Plc (N-PARK), whose brother Sansern Samalapa is an MP for the opposition Democrat Party.
In 2008, she also bought the Thai edition of women's magazine Who, edited by her daughter-in-law. Who is a weekly celebrity news and entertainment magazine published in Australia by Pacific Magazines.
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