Mary Chia shares shoot up 70% on mandatory general offer

Shares of beauty and wellness firm Mary Chia Holdings jumped after a mandatory general offer for the company's shares was triggered. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Shares of beauty & wellness firm Mary Chia Holdings jumped on Friday (Aug 25) after a mandatory general offer for the company's shares was triggered.

At around 9.30am, the shares were 68.7 per cent higher at 11.3 cents, with some 1.4 million shares changing hands.

On Thursday, the Catalist-listed company announced that the daughter and son-in-law of beautician Mary Chia had bought out her eponymous company. Their vehicle, Suki Sushi, paid $11 million for Madam Chia's 60.98 per cent stake, or 11.1 cents a share in cash.

Suki Sushi and related parties now own 80.97 per cent of Mary Chia Holdings, triggering the mandatory general offer.

Their 11.1-cent offer price for the remaining shares is at a premium of nearly 66 per cent over the company's last traded price of 6.7 cents on Wednesday, before a trading halt.

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.

Madam Chia's daughter, Ms Ho Yow Ping, who holds a 21.7 per cent stake in the company, is also the chief executive of Mary Chia Holdings. Her husband, Mr Lee Boon Leng, has a 73.75 per cent stake.

The company said that 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 added that it intends to make use of Mr Lee's "industry network, experience, expertise and resources" to look for new opportunities and diversify its business. Mr Lee has more than 15 years of experience in the retail, consumer and hotel industries, it said.

Mary Chia Holdings saw net losses of $5.7 million in the last financial year ended March 31. The company was in a negative working capital position of approximately $10.3 million as at March 31.

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