Three-way tussle for Spindex Industries?

SINGAPORE - A three-way tussle may be brewing for Spindex Industries, with its founding Tan family revealing that they have been approached by two separate parties who are mulling launching their own offers for the precision engineering firm.

One of these parties is private equity firm Northstar. The identity of the other has not yet been revealed.

In a surprise announcement on Friday night, Northstar said it is "considering all options with respect to Spindex".

This includes making a conditional offer for Spindex shares at a price above the 85 cents that the Tans had offered for an acquisition via a scheme of arrangement on Feb 9.

Northstar added that it will issue a letter to Spindex requesting that it be permitted to carry out due diligence on the group.

Separately, the Tan family's offer vehicle Hong Wei said in a statement that it had been approached by two separate parties "who have indicated separate interests to explore a transaction with the offeror with a view to making an offer for the company".

Both parties have made a request for due diligence, the offer said, neither has put forward either a firm offer or a specific offer price.

So far, the Tans have accumulated a 44.68 per cent stake in Spindex.

In the face of possible competing bids, the Tans have terminated the proposed scheme of arrangement, and intend to proceed by means of a general offer.

However, they are sticking to their 85 cents a share offer price, which they said they do not intend to revise.

The offer price represents a premium of 23.4 per cent over the volume weighted average price for the three-month period up to and including Feb 8.

Spindex shares last changed hands at 85 cents on Wednesday.

Singapore-headquartered Northstar also launched a takeover offer for precision machine parts maker Innovalues last October. Innovalues is set to be delisted soon.