Consortium launches bid to take Select Group private

The executive chairman and an executive director of Select Group have teamed up with a Singapore-based fund manager to make a general offer for the food service provider.

Catalist-listed Select Group said in a stock exchange filing that International Culinary Management, 45 per cent owned by Delish, which is a unit of Dymon Asia Private Equity (Dape), is offering 52.5 cents per share in a voluntary conditional cash offer.

The offer price represents a 23.53 per cent premium over Select's last transacted price per share last Friday. This was the last trading day before the offer announcement date.

Select Group's core businesses include Chinese fine dining, events catering, Thai casual dining and themed food courts.

Said International Culinary Management in a statement last night: "The offer provides shareholders who find it difficult to exit the company, as a result of the low trading volume in shares, with an opportunity to liquidate and realise their investment in the shares at a premium."

It noted that this price premium would not otherwise be available, given the low trading liquidity.

Dape, which invests in small and medium-sized firms across South-east Asia, is managed by Singapore-based Dymon Asia Capital (Singapore).

Dymon manages several alternative investment funds, with aggregate assets under management of about US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion).

Select Group executive chairman and managing director Vincent Tan Chor Khoon and executive director Tan Choh Peng are also among the shareholders of International Culinary Management.

The offer is conditional on more than 50 per cent of the shares being acquired by International Culinary Management.

This threshold looks likely to be reached as investors holding about 53.57 per cent of the 142.38 million issued shares have undertaken to accept the offer, the statement added.

Select Group will be delisted if International Culinary Management acquires 90 per cent or more of the total number of shares, as this will "give the offeror and the management of the company more flexibility to manage the business of the company, optimise the use of its management and capital resources, and facilitate the implementation of any operational change".

It added that delisting will enable to firm to save on listing expenses and focus its resources on its business.

The offer document is expected to be sent to shareholders in two to three weeks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline 'Consortium launches bid to take Select Group private'. Print Edition | Subscribe