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Boustead Singapore shareholders approve acquisition of Boustead Projects shares from chairman Wong Fong Fui and children

SINGAPORE – Shareholders of Boustead Singapore on Dec 14 approved the acquisition of Boustead Projects shares belonging to Mr Wong Fong Fui and his children.

Mr Wong is the chairman and group chief executive officer of Boustead Singapore.

All three resolutions proposed at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) garnered more than 90 per cent support from the independent shareholders who voted.

Out of Boustead Singapore’s 477.5 million shares, 79.8 million shares were represented at the EGM.

Mr Wong, who owns 205.8 million Boustead Singapore shares, did not vote. He owns 60.4 million shares of Boustead Projects, and will now be paid $71.3 million for them. His children, who collectively own 525,765 shares of Boustead Singapore, also abstained from voting.

Boustead Singapore had made an offer for Boustead Projects in February 2023, but the offer was not extended to Mr Wong and his children. The initial offer price was $0.90 per share. This was later raised to $0.95 per share, after some suggestions that the initial price was too low.

PrimePartners, Boustead Projects’ appointed independent financial adviser for the deal, called the price “not fair but reasonable”, as the amount fell short of its estimated valuation range of between $1.17 and $1.38 per share.

In March, the Securities Investors Association Singapore advised Boustead Projects shareholders to reject the offer unless the offer price was raised to a “fair and reasonable” amount.

Following acceptances of Boustead Singapore’s offer, however, Boustead Projects lost its required free float of 10 per cent. Singapore Exchange (SGX) regulations require at least 10 per cent of an issuers’ shares to be held by the public.

SGX directed Boustead Projects to either restore its free float, or provide shareholders with an exit offer that is both fair and reasonable.

In November, Boustead Singapore made an unconditional cash exit offer for Boustead Projects at $1.18 per share.

The higher offer price was also being offered to Mr Wong and his children, who collectively hold a 19.97 per cent stake in Boustead Projects.

As the purchase of their Boustead Projects shares would be an interested party transaction, Boustead Singapore sought approval from independent shareholders for the deal.

Mr Wong and his children have agreed to a six-month interest-free deferment of the cash consideration due to them after the close of the exit offer.

Boustead Singapore is now in control of 306,328,829 Boustead Projects shares, representing 97.79 per cent of the total.

Shareholders of Boustead Projects who wish to accept the exit offer can do so until 5.30pm on Dec 27.

Shares of Boustead Singapore closed 1.2 per cent or $0.01 higher at $0.86 on Dec 15, after the EGM results were known. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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