Friday, August 6, 2010

#Flash* Focus Point sets new listing date, offers exit option

KUALA LUMPUR: Focus Point Holdings Bhd, which withdrew its listing in the 11th hour on July 27 over allegations that some of its outlets did not have an optometrist or optician to dispense contact lenses, has set Aug 23 as the new tentative date for listing.

In an announcement issued by OSK Investment Bank on Friday, Aug 6, it said that it has also given investors an option to exit. The exit window would be on Aug 7 and the deadline for acceptances was Aug 16. The refund cheques would be despatched on Aug 20.

Addressing the allegations made against the company, Focus Point added as of Friday, it had ceased the prescription and dispensing of contact lenses from outlets that do not have either an optometrist or optician who is qualified to prescribe or dispense contact lenses.

"Prior to this cessation, as at Dec 31, 2009, 38 of the group's 64 professional eye care centres were found to have been dispensing contact lenses over-the-counter without an optometrist or optician who is qualified to prescribe or dispense contact lenses," it said.

The company said the promoters of Focus Point have undertaken to fully indemnify Focus Point and any of its officers against any charge, fine or penalty imposed against the company or any of its officers in relation to the prescription or dispensing of contact lenses at Focus Point outlets without the presence of an optometrist or qualified optician, prior to July 27, 2010.

To recap, Focus Point had deferred the listing following allegations made against the company that contact lenses prescribed and/or dispensed by personnel were not qualified to do so.

The listing exercise involved the public issue of 41.2 million new shares and offer for sale of up to 15.8 million existing shares at 20 sen each at an offer price of 39 sen.

MIH had said the 8.25 million new shares offered to the public was oversubscribed by 2.08 times. MIH had also said the 35.55 million shares for private placement had been subscribed.

On the exit offer, the company said Malaysian Issuing House Sdn Bhd (MIH) will be despatching an exit form to all investors based on the address last maintained with Bursa Malaysia Depository Sdn Bhd.

Investors could also obtain a copy of the exit form from MIH or from Bursa Securities' website at or from the newspaper advertisements.

In the latest development, Focus Point said on Friday that as set out in the prospectus, according to the Optical Act 1991, only optometrists or qualified opticians that have fulfilled certain conditions under the Act, are allowed to prescribe
and dispense contact lenses.

It added that disposable contact lenses currently represent the majority of Focus Point's contact lens sales.

"While it is common industry-wide practice in Malaysia for the sale of disposable contact lenses to be conducted over-the-counter, such practice is actually in contravention of the Act.

"Focus Point risks possible action for contravening the Act where its outlets prescribe or dispense contact lenses (whether conventional or disposable) without the presence of an optometrist or qualified optician. A person who is convicted under the Act for prescribing or dispensing contact lenses without an optometrist or qualified optician is subject to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 for the first offence," it said.

On the remaining outlets, it said they were serviced by 13 optometrists and three opticians qualified to prescribe and dispense contact lenses, including optometrists and/or qualified opticians who practice in multiple outlets.

There may be instances whereby certain outlets dispense contact lenses without the physical presence of these qualified personnel.

Focus Point estimates that in the financial years ended Dec 31, (FYE) 2009, FYE 2008 and FYE 2007, approximately 64.80%, 59.99% and 55.53% respectively of total group sales of contact lens were generated from professional eye care centres that have either an optometrist or an optician who is qualified to prescribe or dispense contact lenses.

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