Bangkok, Thailand, April 23, 2003 —
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today expressed disappointment and concern over court action to remove the restructuring plan administrator for Thai Petrochemical Industry, but the Corporation reaffirmed a commitment to the successful rehabilitation of the company. IFC is further reviewing the decision of the Thai court earlier this week and will develop an appropriate strategy aimed at securing the timely appointment of a permanent plan administrator.
Michael Higgins, IFC country manager, said, “We do not agree with the arguments that led the court to remove Effective Planners Limited as the restructuring plan administrator. However, given that the court has made its decision, we will now work toward supporting the appointment of an administrator that no reasonable party could reject. Our primary objective is to make the restructuring work for the long-term health of the company, the people it employs, its creditors and other parties who have a financial interest in TPI. With that in mind IFC wants the appointment of an independent plan administrator to occur without delay. I also urge other parties committed to the success of this restructuring to move toward a rapid selection of such an independent party.”
IFC arranged $474 million in direct and syndicated loans for TPI in November 1996. TPI has been unable to maintain payments on the loans since 1997. As with other companies that faced difficulties in the wake of Thailand’s financial crisis, IFC has attempted to work out debt repayment problems to ensure that TPI could keep operating and continue to be an important asset to the Thai economy.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.