News 919 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Betagro to go public

Betagro, one of Thailand's major agricultural groups has announced its plans to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand next year to help raise funds for the expansion of its food and farm businesses.

If Betagro files this year for a listing on the SET next year it will be eligible to have its corporate tax rate of 25% instead of the normal 30% rate.

Apart from this objective group chief executive Vanus Taepaisitphongse said listing on the SET also was to increase Betagro's professionalism as a major specialist in the chicken and pork business.

Currently, only two chicken producers are traded publicly, Charoen Pokphand Foods and GFPT Plc.

Betagro recently celebrated its 40 years of existence. During these decades the company focused mainly in upstream industries - producing feeds, farming, and making food.

"Now we'll take another step forward - focusing more on downstream businesses, high-standard ready-to-eat meals and effective marketing and distribution,'' Vanus said.

The Betagro Group comprises 29 wholly owned and joint-venture companies in the agricultural and food industry.

The amount of funds to be raised was not revealed but part of the capital would finance investment projects worth 3.1 billion baht (€ 69.6 million) in 2008 and 2009, said chief operating officer Vasit Taepaisitphongse.

The new investments, mainly to build more chicken-processing and food-production plants, would ensure the company meets its annual revenue growth projection of 10% to 15% over the next five years from around 33 billion baht (€ 740m) this year.

The poultry business and the regional and feed business would continue to be the major contributors of 40% each to total revenue.

After the listing and brand-building efforts, Vanus said Betagro would have a clear position and should not be compared with the giant CP Group.

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