Chosen, Novo in line for share buyouts

Two listed firms - Chosen Holdings and Novo - could be the subject of share buyouts, it was announced yesterday.

Chosen Holdings is an investment holding company providing integrated manufacturing solutions, while Novo is a steel trading, distribution and manufacturing company. A firm called Southshore, which is owned by Shaw Kwei & Partners, intends to make a voluntary offer to acquire all the shares of Chosen Holdings for 24 cents apiece, according to a Singapore Exchange announcement.

Five Chosen shareholders have already committed to selling their stock to Southshore, a tranche of 51 per cent in all. This includes the 41.92 per cent of the firm held by Mr Aloysius Lim. The offer provides minority shareholders the opportunity to sell out at an attractive price, said the announcement.

It also noted that the offer is higher than any price Chosen shares have reached since August 2007.

Southshore intends to make Chosen its wholly owned subsidiary and delist it.

It said this would give Chosen more flexibility to plan its business over a longer term to optimise resources, and eliminate compliance costs of listing. Southshore also noted that the trading volume of Chosen shares had been low, limiting the usefulness of a public listing. There are no plans to make management changes or lay off staff at Chosen, Southshore added, but said it would propose the appointment of directors as soon as practicable.

The other buyout offer concerns Golden Star Group, which has agreed to buy about 54.9 per cent of Novo shares for HK$3.755 (68 Singapore cents) apiece from New Page Investments and Novo executive directors Dicky Yu Wing Keung and Chow Kin Wa. If Golden Star acquires the stake, it will offer to buy all other Novo shares at the same price.

New Page Investments owns 48.58 per cent of Novo's share capital. Mr Yu holds 4.84 per cent of the shares and Mr Chow, 1.45 per cent.

New Page is 70 per cent held by Mr Yu and 30 per cent held by Mr Chow.

Chosen shares closed up 4.2 cents or 21.2 per cent at 24 cents yesterday. Novo stock has been suspended since Aug 13.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2015, with the headline 'Chosen, Novo in line for share buyouts'. Print Edition | Subscribe