Banpu to appeal court ruling

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BANGKOK, Sept 21 – Thailand’s leading mining company, Banpu Plc, said it would appeal the civil court ruling which ordered it to pay damages to Siva Nganthavee and his associated companies.

Banpu, one of Asia’s leading coal and coal energy providers, informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand about the outcome of the civil court case on Thursday.

Siva Nganthavee and his associated companies (“Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the company, its subsidiary companies and management (“Defendants”), demanding payment for damages totaling Bt63.5 billion.

The lawsuit is based on allegations that Banpu, the subsidiary companies and management had deceptively entered into a joint development agreement with them for the purpose of gaining information of coal mine concession and feasibility study reports of the lignite fired power plant project in Hongsa, Lao PDR (“Hongsa Project”), and that the company had misinformed the Lao PDR government resulting in the Lao government terminating their coal mine concession and power project agreements so Banpu could directly enter into a contract with the Lao government.

Thailand’s Civil Court on Thursday ordered the company and Banpu Power Limited to pay the plaintiffs damages for information of Bt4 billion with 7.5 per cent interest per annum from the date of the complaint until the sum is fully paid, and for loss of opportunity of Bt860 million annually from 2015-2027 and Bt1.38 billion per year from 2028 to 2039.

The country’s leading miner said it would exercise the right to appeal the judgment to the Appeal Court.

The company also said the court ruling would not impact on the Hongsa Project which is currently in progress as planned.

Shares of Banpu closed on the midday trading session at 399 baht, down 43 baht, from yesterday’s closing price.