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Ex-ceo takes control at TAGS

Thai Airport Ground Services (Tags) has changed its shareholding structure after being acquired by new CEO Anupong Rojanakarin.

"The new shareholding structure should be completed in the next few months. The company's executive committee will also be changed," Anupong said yesterday.

He said he now holds a 56.5-per-cent stake in Tags, of which 48.5 per cent was from SJ Asset Management and 8 per cent from Power Link.

Anupong declined to reveal details of his partners or the transaction cost.

Airports of Thailand (AOT) has maintained its 28-per-cent interest in Tags.

Anupong succeeds former president and CEO Ladya Uriya, who on behalf of Malaysian investors was holding Tags via SJ Asset Management and resigned after the fund sold its Tags shares to Anupong.

Uriya said in an interview earlier that the group of Malaysian investors wanted to focus on investment in China as securing better returns than Thailand.

Anupong said that by himself, he would be one of the shareholders of Tags.

Anupong, who was CEO of Tags before the entry of the Malaysian group via SJ Asset Management, said that after the company completed its new shareholding structure, it would negotiate with AOT on how to resolve the dispute over the supply of luggage carts to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Because Tags could not provide the number of trolleys specified in its contract with AOT, AOT's board of directors, chaired by Piyapan Champasut, the Transport Ministry's deputy permanent secretary, terminated the contract.

AOT has also sued Tags for Bt2.5 billion in damages.

"We want to end this problem promptly.

"We would like to reconcile and ask for a reduction in the charge," Anupong said.

AOT president Serirat Prasutanond said he could not give any comment, as the company would first consider its shareholding in subsidiaries following the order of the board.

But, he said, everything in business could be talked out.

AOT is preparing the terms of reference for a new cart supplier and expects to announce the tender in early August.

The airport should start receiving the new trolleys in November.

They will be installed with tagging devices to prevent loss.

Anupong also said that following the company's diversification plan, as previously released, Tags would develop a Bt3.2-billion condo adjacent to Suvarnabhumi Airport on 24 plots of land, and was looking for partners for the project.

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