Transcu Group inks reverse takeover deal on Straits Construction

Biotech firm Transcu Group has inked a conditional sale and purchase agreement for the proposed takeover of Straits Construction Group.

The agreement's purchase consideration is expected to be between $325 and $338 million, and will be agreed on by Transcu and Straits Construction on a "willing-buyer willing-seller" basis, the firm said on Monday.

Transcu's annoucement came after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Straits Construction to inject the construction firm into its business in February.

The purchase amount will be financed by the allotment and isssuance of new and ordinary shares at 50 cents apiece, representing not less than 79.89 per cent of the company's enlarged share capital, said Transcu.

Privately held Straits Construction is controlled by founder and chairman Wong Swee Chun and his family. His son, Mr Wong Chee Herng, is its managing director.

The deal, which has been seen as beneficial for loss-making Transcu, will result in a reverse takeover if successful. This allows a private firm to get listed on the Singapore Exchange without going through an initial public offering. The unlisted company is effectively injected into a dormant or loss-making listed firm via the issue of shares in return for cash.

"The acquisition of Straits Construction Group, one of the leading building construction players in Singapore with an established business, will give Transcu a new lease of life, and generate increased investor interest in its shares," said Mr Koo Ah Seang, executive chairman of Transcu.

An extraordinary general meeting will be held later to seek shareholders' approval for the proposed acquisition, which is expected to be completed by Dec 31.