SK Jewellery founders make cash offer to take firm private

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The of SK Group have launched a voluntary conditional of 15 cents a share to delist and privatise the company, they announced in a bourse filing yesterday before the stock market opened.

The founders are Mr Peter Lim Yong Guan, the company’s non-executive chairman; his brother Daniel Lim Yong Sheng, executive director and chief executive; and their sister Mary Lim Liang Eng, executive director and group chief operating officer.

Mr Peter Lim is also co-founder, executive chairman and chief executive of pawnbroker MoneyMax Financial Services.

SK Jewellery shares closed up 5.3 cents, or 55.8 per cent, to 14.8 cents, after a trading halt was lifted following the offer announcement.

The shares had gained 8 per cent to 9.5 cents last Friday, before a trading halt was called at 4pm that day.

At 15 cents a share, the offer price stands at a premium of 70.5 per cent over the stock’s closing price of 8.8 cents last Thursday, its last full trading day, and 94.8 per cent over the three-month volume-weighted average price.

It also exceeds the highest closing price of the shares in over two years.

The family business grew from a 700 sq ft shop in Bedok Central in 1991 to a chain of more than 60 stores in Singapore and Malaysia.

Making up the group are the brands Soo Kee Jewellery, SK Jewellery and Love & Co.

When the was listed on the Singapore Exchange’s junior Catalist board in 2015 at 30 cents a share, its market value was $168 million.

The buyout offer values the company at $84 million.

The Lim siblings said privatising the company will provide them with greater control and management flexibility to respond to changing market conditions and optimise the use of its resources.

They intend to continue developing and growing SK Jewellery’s existing businesses, with no current intentions to make any major changes in business or lay off any employees.

The offer is being made through the Lims’ investment holding company, OroGreen Investment, with DBS Bank acting as its sole financial adviser.

The Lim siblings and their company, Soo Kee Capital, hold 82.61 per cent of SK Jewellery’s shares and have undertaken to accept the offer.

But the offer is still conditional on receiving valid acceptances of 90 per cent and above.

The offer – which is final – provides an opportunity for the company’s shareholders to cash out at a premium to historical market prices without incurring brokerage and trading costs, amid the uncertainties surrounding the long-term impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and a challenging outlook across the company’s businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China, said the filing.

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