TCC gets $8.4b bridging loan for Big C purchase

BANGKOK • TCC Holding has obtained bridging loans totalling US$6.2 billion (S$8.4 billion) to fund its acquisition of Thai supermarket chain Big C Supercenter.

Berli Jucker, a subsidiary of Bangkok-based conglomerate TCC, will be the borrower for the two one-year facilities, people familiar with the matter said.

The financing includes a €3.2 billion (S$4.9 billion) loan and a 90 billion baht (S$3.4 billion) facility, the sources said. Nine banks have participated in the euro tranche while seven lenders joined the baht tranche.

TCC, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, last month agreed to but the 58.6 per cent stake in Bangkok-listed Big C owned by French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon for €3.1 billion.

The euro tranche will back the stake purchase while the Thai baht tranche will finance Berli Jucker's takeover of the remaining 41.4 per cent shares in Big C, sources said.

The acquisition price for the remaining shares will not exceed 86.5 billion baht, according to a Berli Jucker statement on March 4.

France's Casino is selling assets in Asia and Latin America to cut debt, while focusing on price and convenience in its largest market, France, as it competes for growth amid weak consumer spending.

Its Vietnam grocery business has attracted suitors like South Korea's Lotte Group and Japan's Aeon, reports said last week.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'TCC gets $8.4b bridging loan for Big C purchase'. Print Edition | Subscribe