STA sees sales volumes rising by 20%, set to issue bonds to refinance maturing debts

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Sri Trang Agro-Industry Plc (STA), Thailand’s leading maker of product from natural rubber, said that it expects its sales volumes to rise by as much as 20% from the previous year while at the same time it was looking to issue bonds to refinance its debt obligations by offering ‘digital’ bonds.

STA, the nearly $1 billion market capitalized firm that minted money during the pandemic as demand for rubber gloves surged creating a global shortage, came out to say that it was expecting its sale of various kinds of rubber to rise by 20% to 1.6 million tons from the 1.3 million tons that it had recorded during 2021.

STA, which has production base in other countries such as Indonesia and is the parent company of the glove maker Sri Trang Glove (Thailand) Plc (STGT), said that it was also looking at issuing ‘digital’ bonds to help it refinance its existing debt obligations and also to use it as working capital as it expands its production base in Trang province in Thailand.

A woman taps a tree to harvest latex at a rubber plantation

Veerasit Sincharoenkul, President and Executive Director of STA, revealed that the company is in the process of issuing and offering bonds of unsubordinated and unsecured  types that would be offered in 2 sets of general debentures and digital bonds.

Both sets of debentures will have a maturity of 4 years, maturing in 2026. And currently are in the process of filing with the office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an offer for sale of the debentures to the general public which will inform the details about the payoff later.

The proceeds from the bond offering are intended to be used as working capital in business operations. Currently, the company is in the process of expanding the production capacity of 140,160 tons per year at the factory in Trang.

It is expected to gradually complete and begin commercial operation of machinery in June and September of 2023, which is a part of the natural rubber capacity expansion plan in 2023 to increase market share and maintain the to be world’s largest natural rubber producer.

The debentures and the company have been rated by TRIS Rating Co., Ltd. on July 8, 2022, with a ‘A’ with a stable outlook. The bonds are expected to be issued within November this year. The higher rating and stable outlook reflect the recovery trend of the natural rubber industry and the continued strong demand for rubber gloves.

STA has debts that are due to the tune of 2.7 – 4.4 billion Baht during the year 2022-2024. In this regard, TRIS Rating estimates that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of STA will be at the level of approximately 12 – 15 billion Baht per year. More than 29 billion Baht of undrawn credit line.

As for the bonds that would be offered in the ‘digital’ format, investors can use their ‘Pao Tang’ application to purchase it. Two banks Krung Thai Bank Plc (KTB) and Kasikorn Bank Plc (KBANK) would be the underwriters.

The minimum subscription of 100,000 Baht and a multiple of 100,000 Baht per time would be for the larger clients while the digital debentures offered for sale through the application ‘Pao Tang’ of Krung Thai Bank Plc or KTB, with a minimum subscription of 1,000 Baht and a multiplier of 1,000 Baht per time.

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