Thailand: Court pulls plug on power IPO
Thailand’s largest ever IPO, the $850 million partial privatization of Egat, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, was pulled at the last minute after a judge suspended the public offering in order to hear petitions relating to the legality of the privatization. Underwriters of the deal are said to be furious at the action that has effectively stalled the deal for the second time. Last year the planned IPO was shelved after union disputes. The court action is an embarrassing setback for the government of Thaksin Shinawatra and a disappointment for institutional investors who regarded Egat as an attractive and liquid play on the Thai economy. Local investors are also peeved: it was hoped the Egat IPO would provide a much-needed fillip for the Thai market, which is languishing close to 52-week lows.