Sukanto Tanoto’s Corporate Sins

This is taken from Chris Wright’s article:

Lots of people know Sukanto well. 

Bank Mandiri, which published a list of its top bad debtors in 2006, with Sukanto’s Raja Garuda Mas pulp and paper company at the top by an absolute mile, owing Rp5.35 trillion in principal and interest at that time.

Sukanto’s conglomerate of interests – which also includes the pulp, paper and fibre group April, the palm oil group Asian Agri and the resources group Pacific Oil and Gas – was badly hit in the Asian financial crisis, which came just as April was in the middle of a US$2 billion fundraising exercise for expansion. For years subsequently, Sukanto companies struggled to repay their debts, a position that observers have struggled to square with his great personal wealth. In particular, the member companies of the April Group – Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), Riau Prima Energy and Riau Andalan Kertas – wrestled with the almost US$1.5 billion they owed in 1999, with many creditors claiming attempts at commercially workable restructurings had been blocked or delayed. Foreign banks thought to have had to sell out of their claims at steep losses include Citi, ING and Standard Chartered.

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