SINGAPORE - Semiconductor equipment maker AEM Holdings on Tuesday morning (March 27) said it has been informed that its largest shareholder, Orion Phoenix, a single purpose vehicle controlled by private equity fund Novo Tellus PE Fund I, is distributing most of its shares in AEM in-specie to the limited partners (LPs) of the fund.
A total of close to 8.7 million shares of AEM, or 12.89 per cent of issued shares, are being distributed to 13 LPs.
"The willingness of the fund's LPs to take up AEM shares demonstrates the strong confidence these investors have in AEM's potential and business outlook," AEM said.
As a result of this distribution in specie, Orion Phoenix's shareholding will be reduced to about 4.28 per cent of AEM's issued and paid up shares. At the same time, James Toh Ban Leng, co-founder of New Earth Group, which is the general partner of the fund, will become a substantial shareholder of AEM, with a stake of 7.75 per cent. This also makes him the single largest shareholder.
Following the distribution in specie, AEM's executive chairman, Loke Wai San, also an LP of Orion Phoenix, will hold 1.99 per cent of AEM shares. Mr Loke is the other co-founder of New Earth Group. Both Mr Toh and Mr Loke have committed not to dispose off their AEM shares in the near future.
In a statement, Mr Loke said: "James and I are committed to be long-term shareholders of AEM. We were the key persons from New Earth Group that identified and evaluated AEM seven years ago. I have been very involved with AEM, first as a non-executive chairman and then as executive chairman, advising the company on matters pertaining to strategic growth and acquisitions.
"More importantly, the management team at AEM has demonstrated that it can engage and support its customers on a global scale from product development to after sales service."