Mary Chia sells stake in her beauty firm to daughter, son-in-law

A slimming session at a Mary Chia branch. Mary Chia Holdings intends to make use of Mr Lee Boon Leng's "industry network, experience, expertise and resources" to look for new business opportunities. Mr Lee is Madam Chia's son-in-law and has more than
A slimming session at a Mary Chia branch. Mary Chia Holdings intends to make use of Mr Lee Boon Leng's "industry network, experience, expertise and resources" to look for new business opportunities. Mr Lee is Madam Chia's son-in-law and has more than 15 years' experience in the retail and consumer industries.PHOTO: MARY CHIA SLIMMING

The daughter and son-in-law of beautician Mary Chia have bought out her eponymous company.

Their company, Suki Sushi, has paid $11 million for Madam Chia's 60.98 per cent stake in Catalist-listed Mary Chia Holdings, or 11.1 cents a share in cash.

They have also made a mandatory general offer for the company's shares.

Suki Sushi and related parties now own 80.97 per cent of Mary Chia Holdings.

In addition, Madam Chia has resigned from her position as the executive chairman of the lifestyle and wellness company and from all executive positions within the group with immediate effect. She will also step down as a director of the company after the close of the offer.

Suki Sushi operates Japanese restaurants in Singapore under various brands including Momiji, Nihon Mura Kaiten and Sakura.

It also offers food catering services and sells frozen and dry food products.

  • 60.98 % 

    Beautician Mary Chia's percentage stake in Catalist-listed Mary Chia Holdings that Suki Sushi has bought for $11 million.

    80.97 %

    What Suki Sushi and related parties now own of Mary Chia Holdings.

Madam Chia's daughter, Ms Ho Yow Ping, holds a 21.7 per cent stake in the company, while her husband, Mr Lee Boon Leng, has a 73.75 per cent stake.

Ms Ho is also the chief executive of Mary Chia Holdings.

In an exchange filing yesterday, Mary Chia Holdings said it "has been operating within a challenging environment", incurring net losses of $5.7 million in the latest financial year ended March 31.

The company was in a negative working capital position of approximately $10.3 million as at March 31.

Following the acquisition, it will "undertake a strategic and operational review of the group's business with a view to strengthening the group's financial position and identifying areas in which potential may be optimised".

The company intends to make use of Mr Lee's "industry network, experience, expertise and resources" to look for new opportunities and diversify its business.

He has more than 15 years of experience in the retail, consumer and the hotel industries.

The offeror intends to keep the company listed on the Catalist board, the exchange filing said.

The takeover offer comes after Mary Chia Holdings suffered a string of setbacks this year.

Last month, its wholly owned subsidiary was ordered to pay damages and costs to a Japanese partner over a joint venture gone sour.

Mary Chia Holdings said it had been ordered to pay Slim Beauty House about $315,400 in damages for the breach of joint venture agreement, as well as around $269,000 as costs.

In February, Ms Ho was fined $2,600 for employing three foreign women without approval.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2017, with the headline 'Mary Chia sells stake in her beauty firm to daughter, son-in-law'. Print Edition | Subscribe