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M'sian billionaire Vincent Tan sells TMC shares to S'pore tycoon Peter Lim

Publication Date : 08-08-2014

 

Singapore billionaire Peter Lim Eng Hock has acquired an additional 26.6 per cent in TMC Life Sciences Bhd from Vincent Tan Chee Yioun for 48 sen per share, raising his stake in the company to 59.2 per cent and triggering a general offer for the rest of the shares he does not already own in the process.

Lim, however, intends to maintain the healthcare provider’s listing status on Bursa Malaysia.

Shares in TMC were last traded at 46.5 sen yesterday.

TMC said in an announcement that its board would hold an emergency meeting to deliberate on the offer and make an announcement in due course.

The takeover offer was effected after Tan, TMC’s second-biggest shareholder, hived off his stakes held through Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) (11.6 per cent) and Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) (15 per cent) in TMC for 102.6 million ringgit (US$31.9 million) to Lim via Sasteria (M) Pte Ltd yesterday.

A block of 160.68 million shares in TMC crossed in an off-market trade yesterday at 48 sen per share in the last minutes of trading just before the market closed for the day.

Lim had 32.6 per cent in TMC prior to yesterday’s transaction.

Under Bursa Malaysia’s listing requirements, Lim will have to extend his takeover offer to all minority shareholders in the company at 48 sen a share and eight sen per warrant.

It has been speculated that the acquisition could be a prelude to Lim eventually parking all his healthcare services assets in Malaysia under one vehicle.

It is also notable that this transaction with TMC by Lim is reminiscent of what had happened to the-then Singapore-listed Thomson Medical Centre Ltd, which was privatised by him in 2010 in a similar transaction.

Lim had then also triggered a mandatory conditional offer for Thomson Medical after its largest shareholder and founder, Dr Cheng Wei Chen, sold his entire effective 39.34 per cent stake at S$1.75 (US$1.40) a share in a direct business transaction with Lim.

Lim is also said to be injecting his planned 200-bed hospital at Iskandar Malaysia’s medical hub into TMC eventually.

Lim’s keen interest in TMC was first traced back four years ago in 2010 when he emerged with a 29.6 per cent stake after acquiring a stake from TMC’s founder Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo in direct business trades then.

He later further raised his stake in the company and by the middle of 2011, held 32.6 per cent in TMC, a stake which he had held on to until before yesterday.

Meanwhile, BCorp said it would realise an estimated total gain of 21.64 million ringgit (US$6.73 million) from these disposals while BLand, which is also a subsidiary of BCorp, said it would net total gains of 3.62 million ringgit (US$1.13 million) from this share sale to Lim.

“Currently, the total carrying value of the sale shares is about 41.99 million ringgit (US$13.06 million) or 45 sen per sale share, which has been purchased since January 2008. The disposals have enabled the BCorp Group to realise its investment in TMC,” BCorp said in its announcement.

Both BCorp and BLand said they would utilise the proceeds for working capital and/or the repayment of borrowings for the company.

Post-transaction, Tan will still have a residual direct interest of 0.40 per cent and a deemed interest of 1.37 per cent in TMC other than through the BCorp Group.

 

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