Cosco cash offer for Cogent becomes unconditional

Cogent chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow is among four Cogent shareholders who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of the firm's shares. When Cogent is delisted, Cosco said it intends for Cogent to continue with its existing busin
Cogent chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow is among four Cogent shareholders who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of the firm's shares. When Cogent is delisted, Cosco said it intends for Cogent to continue with its existing business activities, and does not intend to introduce any major changes to Cogent's existing businesses.ST FILE PHOTO

The $1.02-a-share cash offer of Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) for Cogent Holdings has become unconditional, with the offeror having received valid acceptances representing about 92.05 per cent of the total number of shares.

As a result, the percentage of Cogent Holdings' shares held in public hands has fallen below 10 per cent.

Under the rules of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), this means trading in Cogent's shares will be suspended when the offer closes.

As at 5pm on Tuesday, Cosco had received valid acceptances representing 92.05 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares, the Bank of China announced on behalf of Cosco, after Tuesday's trading hours. With the offer turning unconditional, Cosco will exercise its compulsory acquisition rights and proceed to delist Cogent from the SGX.

The offer will remain open for acceptance until 5.30pm on Jan 19. Cosco said it has no intention of extending the offer beyond the final closing date.

Cosco had previously received irrevocable undertakings by four Cogent shareholders, who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares.

The four undertaking shareholders are Cogent executive chairman Tan Yeow Khoon, his wife Ng Poh Choo, managing director Tan Yeow Lam, and executive director and chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow, with all four agreeing to accept the offer by yesterday.

Cosco's offer price represents about 31/2 times Cogent's net tangible asset per share of 29.8 Singapore cents as at end-June last year.

When Cogent is delisted, Cosco said it intends for Cogent to continue with its existing business activities, and does not intend to introduce any major changes to Cogent's existing businesses.

It also does not plan to redeploy any of Cogent's major fixed assets or discontinue the employment of any Cogent employees, other than in the ordinary course of business.

The Bank of China, which is Cosco's financial adviser for the deal, will extend a $350 million loan facility to partly fund the takeover.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Cosco cash offer for Cogent becomes unconditional'. Print Edition | Subscribe