Shareholders' aye to delisting SMRT

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek. Minority shareholders of SMRT Corp gave a resounding go-ahead for it to be delisted from the stock exchange in a landmark decision on Sept 29, 2016.
SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek. Minority shareholders of SMRT Corp gave a resounding go-ahead for it to be delisted from the stock exchange in a landmark decision on Sept 29, 2016. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Minority shareholders of SMRT Corp gave a resounding go-ahead for it to be delisted from the stock exchange in a landmark decision yesterday, paving the way for the transport operator to return to state ownership after 16 years.

At a Scheme of Arrangement meeting at The Star Performance Arts Centre in Buona Vista, 84.83 per cent of 4,417 shareholders present - voting in person or by proxy - were in favour of selling their shares to majority shareholder Temasek Holding for $1.68 apiece. In total, they represent 92.89 per cent of the shares held by minority shareholders who voted.

Temasek, which owns about 54 per cent of SMRT, was not entitled to vote as it was the offerer.

The scheme will now be brought to the High Court for its approval. If approved, SMRT expects the arrangement to become effective on Oct 21.

Shareholders will be paid for their shares by Nov 1, and SMRT will be delisted thereafter.

At an extraordinary general meeting at the same venue just before the Scheme meeting, shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of SMRT selling its operating assets to the Land Transport Authority for about $1 billion.

With the asset sale and delisting, SMRT is expected to be in a better position to meet higher service standards.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Shareholders' aye to delisting SMRT'. Print Edition | Subscribe