Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No need for mandatory offer for E&O, says Sime Darby

KUALA LUMPUR: SIME DARBY BHD [] said it was not required to make a mandatory general offer for the remaining shares in Eastern & Oriental Bhd, following a ruling by the Securities Commission (SC).

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia Securities on Tuesday, Oct 11, Sime Darby said the SC had via letter said the conglomerate and Datuk Terry Tham Ka Hon were not parties acting in concert and as such a mandatory offer obligation would not arise.

Sime Darby also said it was informed that the SC's finding was without prejudice to a review of the decision should new facts arise in relation to the matter and the SC's right to take appropriate action provided under the securities laws as a consequence of such review.

Trading in the securities of Sime Darby and E&O were suspended with effect from 9am this morning pending an announcement.

The companies in separate filings to Bursa Malaysia Securities early this morning announced the trading halt.

E&O had been in the spotlight since Sept 9 when Sime Darby bought RM766 million worth of shares from three vendors; Datuk Terry Tham, E&O's managing director, Tan Sri Wan Azmi Hamzah and GK Goh Holdings of Singapore at a 60% premium above the market price of RM2.30 per share.

Recently, ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd raised its shareholding in property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) to 6.62% after the recent acquisition of two million shares on Sept 29-30.

A filing with Bursa Malaysia on Oct 3 showed that ECM Libra's shareholding increased to 59.19 million shares.

On Sept 30, most of E&O shareholders rejected ECM Libra's two nominees to the company's board of directors.

As of Sept 22, ECM Libra held 6.3% of E&O, making it the second largest shareholder after Sime Darby which owns 30%

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