SC: Sime need not make general offer for E&O

Property News/ 12 October 2011 Leave a comment

Kuala Lumpur: The Securities Commission (SC) has ruled that Sime Darby Bhd does not have to make a general offer (GO) for the shares in Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O), which it does not own.

Trading in Sime and E&O shares were halted in the first half of trading yesterday to facilitate the announcement.

Before noon, Sime issued a statement to Bursa Malaysia on the SC decision.

"Sime does not have to make a general offer for E&O shares as it is the SC's findings that Sime Darby and Datuk Terry Tham are not parties acting in concert, and as such a mandatory offer obligation would not arise," Sime said in a statement to the stock exchange.

In the afternoon session of trade, Sime rose as much as 28 sen before ending the trading day 10 sen higher at RM8.50 a share.

The anticipated selldown on E&O shares, however. did not materialise, as investors took a bet that a rival bid for the Penang property developer may emerge in the coming weeks.

Last month, ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd had attempted to place two of its nominees on the board of E&O, but shareholders rejected the bid at the company's annual general meeting.

ECM owns about 6.5 per cent of E&O, which has been in centre- stage in recent months following Sime's purchase of a 30 per cent stake in E&O for RM2.30 a share.

Sime bought the shares at a 60 per cent premium to the open market value of the shares in a deal valued at RM766 million from Tham, Singapore's G.K. Goh Holdings Ltd and Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah.

E&O shares closed unchanged at RM1.36whereby it rose to as high of RM1.40 a share yesterday.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the SC said in the course of the review, parties involved in the transaction were interviewed and relevant documents procured.

The review included an assessment of possible concert party relationships between and amongst the parties involved.

"Having analysed all the evidence gathered, it is the SC's finding that the acquisition of the 30 per cent equity interest in E&O by Sime had not given rise to a mandatory offer obligation under the Malaysian Code on Takeovers and Mergers 2010," the requlator said in a statement.

The SC said the review was led by senior independent commission members Datuk Francis Tan and Datuk Gumuri Hussain.

SOURCE: Business Times

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