Parent of Wheelock Properties now holds 88.17% of shares ahead of buyout offer close

SINGAPORE - Hong Kong-listed Wheelock and Company's stake in Wheelock Properties (Singapore) has risen to 88.17 per cent, lifted by 10.10 per cent in valid acceptances for its general offer of $2.10 per share.

According to a filing with the Singapore Exchange, as at 5pm on Oct 1, the total number of shares owned or agreed to be acquired by the offeror and parties acting in concert with it, plus valid acceptances of the offer amounting to some 1.05 billion shares, totalled 88.17 per cent of total issued shares of Wheelock Properties.

The offeror has said that it wants to privatise the company, and it needs to control at least a 90 per cent stake to secure a delisting.

The offer ends at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

OCBC Investment Research analyst Deborah Ong has a two-tiered recommendation for investors, advising those who are in-the-money to accept the offer and opt for "more attractive opportunities" such as CapitaLand and UOL.

She added: "For shareholders who collected Wheelock at more than $2.10, we recommend waiting out for a second and better general offer, though there are also risks associated with this."

In an earlier report, she pointed to the case of Vard Holdings, where there were two general offers by the same offeror, Fincantieri Oil & Gas. OCBC's fair value target for Wheelock is $2.34.

In the case that the offerer's stake crosses the 90 per cent mark and prompts a delisting, shareholders who still have not accepted the offer will have a right to require the offerer to purchase their shareholdings from them at the offer price.

Wheelock was trading at $2.11, one cent above the offer price, at 11.55am on Tuesday.

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