THAI creditors approve debt restructuring plan
Thai Airways International's (THAI) creditors on Wednesday formally approved the airline's debt rehabilitation plan which emphasises the state's role in helping the struggling flag carrier access fresh cash injections.
The creditors approved the plan in a vote which had been postponed from last week to allow them to study some last-minute tweaks to the plan.
Twenty-eight out of the 36 groups, representing 13,000 creditors which hold some 116 billion baht of THAI's debts, casted votes in favour of the plan, after chapters 4, 13 and 15 of the plan were amended.
Chapter 4 of the plan says THAI requires consistent state support and should be allowed to operate its aviation and related businesses with the same privileges accorded to it before it ceased to become a state-owned enterprise and entered the debt rehabilitation process.
The creditors amended clauses relating to the company's financial management, which they deemed necessary to facilitate the repayment of outstanding obligations and procurement of fresh loans to maintain the airline's cash balances.
Bangkok Bank, which was listed as creditor No.6414, obtained changes to Chapter 13 of the plan, to appoint former energy minister, Siri Jirapongpan, and former director-general of the Department of Legal Execution, Kraisorn Baramee-auychai, as the airline's rehabilitation administrators.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives of Thailand Limited put forth a five-point amendment to Chapter 15, which was approved in the meeting on Wednesday.
The points include specific groups of creditors being granted debt-to-capital conversion rights, capital decrease and recapitalisation, formulation of asset management and appointment of three additional rehab plan administrators, namely THAI's acting president Chansin Treenuchagron, the airline's independent director Piyasvasti Amranand, and deputy finance permanent secretary Pornchai Teerawej.
The plan also calls for the state to help the airline secure 50 billion baht in fresh funding.
Following the announcement, however, the State Enterprise Policy Office insisted that the government is under no obligation to come to the airline's rescue.