Pace hopes to emerge from massive debts

Pace hopes to emerge from massive debts

Still peddling units at MahaNakhon

MahaNakhon, a skyscraper in the Silom-Sathon district of Bangkok, is being developed by Pace Development Corporation. JIRAPORN KUHAKAN
MahaNakhon, a skyscraper in the Silom-Sathon district of Bangkok, is being developed by Pace Development Corporation. JIRAPORN KUHAKAN

SET-listed developer Pace Development Corporation Plc looks set to continue sales of the remaining residential units worth around 5 billion baht at MahaNakhon tower to reduce debts.

Chief executive Sorapoj Techakraisri said the company's total debts will fall below 10 billion baht by the middle of the year from 15 billion at present after securing 14 billion from the sale of assets at the country's highest building, MahaNakhon, to duty-free retailer King Power International Group.

"We are in talks with several buyers for the remaining 53 units at the tower," he said. "Despite some discounts, a bulk sale will fare better than selling one unit at a time as the latter has marketing costs."

As of the end of last year, the company had a sales backlog of 38 units worth 3.2 billion baht at the tower, which are to be realised this year.

The company expects to be able reduce its debts to a few billion baht by the end of 2019 with the completion of three projects next year. One of them is the 8-billion-baht Nimit Langsuan condo, which recorded 7 billion in presales.

The other two include MahaSamutr, a luxury villa project in Hua Hin worth 4 billion baht, and Windshell Naradhiwas, a high-end condo worth 3 billion baht on Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Road.

The company will also discuss a partnership in a clubhouse at Hua Hin with strategic partners that have expertise in wellness and strong finance, which it aims to be finalised by the end of this year.

"Our struggles will likely ease next year as many projects will be completed," said Mr Sorapoj. "Our next project will take no longer than three years to completely avoid risk. Projects like MahaNakhon and MahaSamutr are too long and difficult."

He said the company plans to expand Dean & DeLuca in Europe and China through franchising. It is also in talks with Chinese partners to expand in China.

"American food chains are popular in China," said Mr Sorapoj. "Chinese partners will help us expand Dean & DeLuca branches in China without our own investment."

He said the company would record 500 million baht from the sale of a land bank sized 80 rai in Niseko, Japan after it inked a memorandum of understanding with an investor early the year.

PACE shares closed Tuesday on the SET at 0.50 baht, down one satang, in trade worth 7.61 million baht.

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