UOL, Haw Par Corp announce share-swap deal, to resume trading today

The three companies involved in the share swap are substantially owned by Wee Cho Yaw.
The three companies involved in the share swap are substantially owned by Wee Cho Yaw.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - UOL Group Limited announced on Friday (June 23) that it will buy Haw Par Corporation's stake in United Industrial Corporation (UIC), via a share swap.

UOL and Haw Par, the two listed companies largely owned by Singapore billionaire Wee Cho Yaw, said the deal may make UOL one of the largest owners of commercial space in Singapore.

Property investor UOL will sell 27.3 million new shares to investment holding firm Haw Par in exchange for 60 million shares of United Industrial Corp owned by Haw Par's wholly owned subsidiary, UOL said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange.

On completion, UOL's stake in UIC will increase to 48.94 per cent from 44.71 per cent, it said.

The deal "will offer greater diversification by increasing access to UIC's commercial property portfolio in the Singapore Central Business District," UOL said in the statement. "The proposed transaction will enable UOL and UIC to further align strategic interests and collaborate to acquire land banks, office and retail properties."

UOL said the proposed transaction is beneficial to shareholders as it will offer greater diversification by increasing access to UIC's commercial property portfolio in the Singapore Central Business District, and together, the two groups will have highly complementary interests across the residential, office, retail and hospitality segments, with geographic footprints across Singapore and other markets, including China and the United Kingdom.

 

Investor and hotel operator UOL owns the Pan Pacific and Parkroyal brands, while UIC has built high-end office and residential buildings in Singapore.

UOL has received a waiver from the Securities Industry Council of Singapore and is not obligated to make a mandatory general offer for UIC as a result of the share acquisition, on condition that UOL's stake in UIC does not exceed 49 per cent, the statement said.

The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals with all conditions to be satisfied by Oct 31.

UOL, UIC and Haw Par will resume trading later on Friday after they were suspended on June 21.

UIC was incorporated in Singapore in 1963 as a private company and was listed as a public company in 1969. Its core business is property development and investment.