Baring unit to make bid for Interplex Holdings

Interplex, which used to be known as Amtek Engineering, has around 12,000 employees in more than 40 manufacturing plants in 13 countries.
Interplex, which used to be known as Amtek Engineering, has around 12,000 employees in more than 40 manufacturing plants in 13 countries.PHOTO: AMTEK ENGINEERING

Major shareholders have said they would accept buyout offer, which values precision engineering firm at $450m

A subsidiary of a private equity firm wants to make a voluntary general offer for precision engineering company Interplex Holdings.

The cash offer of 82 cents a share would be 16.3 per cent above Interplex's average traded price over the past six months, and would value the mainboard-listed company at $450 million, according to the bidder yesterday.

The buyout is being proposed by a unit of Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VI, which lodged the winning bid in a competitive sale process carried out earlier this year.

Metcomp Group Holdings and Standard Chartered Private Equity Limited, which together hold 57.7 per cent of Interplex, have said they would accept the offer.

If the offer is made and accepted by these shareholders, Interplex's investors can then sell their shares at the same price without incurring brokerage fees.

Mr Kenneth Cheong, managing director of Baring Private Equity Asia, said: "With the offer price exceeding the highest closing price in the last four years, we believe that our offer would provide an attractive opportunity for all shareholders to realise their entire investment in cash."

The offer price is 62.4 per cent over the net asset value per Interplex share as at Sept 30 - the end of the last financial quarter - and 15.5 per cent over the last traded price of 71 cents on Tuesday before trading was halted. Certain conditions, including governmental and regulatory approvals, must be met before the offer can be made.

Consent also has to be obtained from holders of the $200 million Interplex notes due in 2019, for the terms of the notes to be amended in the light of the takeover offer.

Interplex stock jumped 8.2 per cent on a trading day in June after Bloomberg News reported that CVC Capital Partners and Standard Chartered Private Equity were exploring the sale of their majority stake.

Interplex, formerly known as Amtek Engineering, said at the time that it would focus on Latin America and Europe as growth in China slows, while boosting research and development services.

Interplex offers manufacturing solutions for complex precision mechanical and electro-mechanical components and assemblies. It has around 12,000 employees in more than 40 manufacturing plants in 13 countries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2015, with the headline 'Baring unit to make bid for Interplex Holdings'. Print Edition | Subscribe