True Infrastructure Fund Seeks $1.8 Billion From Thailand IPO

True Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund, backed by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s True Corp. Pcl, is seeking $1.8 billion in the country’s second-largest initial public offering.

The fund is offering as many as 4.76 billion units at 10 baht apiece to institutional and retail investors, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. Bangkok-based True Corp., operator of Thailand’s third-largest cellular network, will buy 1 billion units and hold at least 18 percent of the fund, the document shows.

With the True fund planning to list on Dec. 27, this year will see Thailand host the two biggest IPOs in its history. BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund, a fund backed by fare revenues from Bangkok’s SkyTrain, raised $2.1 billion in its April IPO, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Initial public offerings in the country have raised $4.2 billion this year, the data show.

The fund will invest in 11,845 telecom towers, 52,362 kilometers (32,543 miles) of fiber-optic network and 1.2 million broadband service ports, according to a presentation to investors last month. It expects to pay a dividend yield of 8.8 percent for the 2014 fiscal year, based on distributable income of 5.1 billion baht ($158 million), the terms show.

Institutional investors can place orders through Dec. 10, and the fund plans to start trading on Dec. 27, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Shares of True Corp. have risen 66 percent this year, bucking the 1.1 percent decline in the benchmark SET Index. Charoen Pokphand Group, Dhanin’s investment arm, and its units owned 63 percent of True Corp. as of Aug. 8, according to True’s website.

Dhanin has a net worth of $5.2 billion, making him the second-richest man in the country, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Many of his assets are owned through closely-held holding companies that he shares with his three brothers. Dhanin’s net worth calculation excludes the stakes held by his brothers, Jaran Chiaravanont, Montri Jiaravanont and Sumet Jiaravanon.