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[ 2018-04-18 ]

Pace Group Look set to Proceed with Four Luxury Real Estate Projects in Bangkok

Pace Development Corporation Plc looks set to continue construction of four luxury projects worth more than 20 billion baht after securing 14 billion baht from the sale of assets at the country's highest building, MahaNakhon, to duty-free retailer King Power International Group.

Pace chief executive Sorapoj Techakraisri said the proceeds from the latest sales, together with 3.89 billion baht available from a capital increase in February, will let the company reduce debt and continue development of the four existing projects.

One project is The Ritz-Carlton Residences Bangkok at MahaNakhon Tower, which has a sales backlog of 3.28 billion baht and remaining units worth 4.28 billion baht.

Two other luxury condo projects in Bangkok are Nimit Langsuan, worth 8 billion baht with 90% sold, and Windshell Naradhiwas on Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Road, worth 3 billion baht with 2.2 billion baht remaining for sale.

These two projects will be completed and have revenue realised next year, Mr Sorapoj said.

Pace also has a luxury villa project in Hua Hin, called MahaSamutr, worth 3.9 billion baht with 3 billion baht remaining for sale. The company plans to seek a partner in a joint venture at the Hua Hin site and change the concept to that of a wellness hotel.

On Tuesday, Pace said it had succeeded in selling some of the assets at the MahaNakhon tower to King Power MahaNakhon Co Ltd, owned by King Power International Group.

The key assets include 155 hotel rooms, an observation deck and the retail space Cube worth a combined 12.6 billion baht. The assets are owned by Pace subsidiaries Pace Project One Co and Pace Project Three Co, in which Pace holds 51% and 51.28%, respectively.

Other assets include land worth 183 million baht, jointly owned by Pace's subsidiaries.

King Power also paid 1.2 billion baht to Pace as business procurement compensation, according to Pace's statement to the SET.

King Power chief executive Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said in a release that the assets at MahaNakhon will extend the company's push into tourism, a sector with high potential for growth.

"The tower is the tallest in the country and situated in central Bangkok with convenient travel by BTS," he said. "It has high potential to develop as a Bangkok landmark to draw tourist arrivals from around the world."

Mr Sorapoj said Pace's board of directors also approved the purchase of shares in Pace Project One and Pace Project Three in the proportion of 49% and 48.7% respectively from Apollo Asia Sprint Holding Company Ltd and Goldman Sachs Investments Holdings Asia Ltd for the total amount of 10 billion baht, effectively ending Pace's commitments to Apollo and Goldman.

A source in the investment banking industry who requested anonymity said the Pace assets sold to King Power are valuable, but further analysis is needed to determine if the selling price is appropriate.

The source said the price can be assessed through the company's filings with the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

According to the source, Siam Commercial Bank is likely to reap the most benefit from the deal between Pace and King Power, since the bank is Pace's main creditor and is expected to act as an intermediary.

Pace will probably sell further assets in a bid to shore up liquidity, the source said.

Remaining assets that could be sold include MahaSamutr and Nimit Langsuan, worth a combined 20 billion baht.

Pace could also opt to sell Dean & DeLuca, its food and beverage unit, the source said.

But the difficulty comes in obtaining a good selling price, the source said, since Pace urgently needs liquidity to repay creditors and has less negotiating power.

PACE shares closed Wednesday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 0.56 baht, down two satang, in trade worth 125.3 million baht.

Source: https://property.bangkokpost.com/news/1444943/ceo-says-pace-has-the-means-to-proceed-with-4-luxury-projects