United Engineers says shareholders OCBC, Great Eastern approached to sell stake

SINGAPORE - United Engineers (UE) says there could be a potential change in its controlling shareholders, OCBC and Great Eastern, adding that it is also in talks to divest a non-core business.

The property, engineering and construction group gave an update in response to a query from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) after its share price soared 7.4 per cent or 17 cents to $2.49 in just over two hours of trade on Thursday before it called for a trading halt pending an announcement.

It announced after markets closed that its controlling shareholders, OCBC and Great Eastern, have been approached by a party on the possible sale of their combined stakes in the firm.

UE also said in response to the SGX query that it is "in advanced stages of discussions regarding the sale of a non-core business."

OCBC and Great Eastern also announced that they have been approached about a possible transaction involving their stakes in UE, though they added that discussions are at a preliminary stage.

No mention was made of who the interested party may be, but Bloomberg reported that OCBC is in talks with Mr Charoen, citing people familiar with the matter.

OCBC shares closed up 6 cents at $10.44 yesterday while Great Eastern was unchanged at $23.

UE has since requested that the trading halt be lifted