SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) chairman Lee Boon Yang had recused himself from discussions on Keppel Corp's privatisation offer, said SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung on Monday (Aug 2).
Mr Ng was responding to a question on Dr Lee's role in Keppel's proposal to delist SPH after its media business is hived off, and turn it into a wholly owned subsidiary.
Dr Lee, 73, a former Cabinet minister, was non-executive chairman of Keppel from 2009 till he stepped down in April this year.
Mr Ng said that given his position as former Keppel chairman, Dr Lee had recused himself from all talks involving Keppel's proposal, from the shortlisting of bids to selecting Keppel and details of the agreement.
At a separate press conference, Keppel chief executive Loh Chin Hua similarly said Dr Lee was not involved in the company's proposal to acquire SPH.
Keppel's privatisation offer values SPH at $3.4 billion. Its share of the deal is about $2.2 billion.
Under the offer, SPH shareholders will receive 66.8 cents in cash per share, as well as 0.596 Keppel Reit units and 0.782 SPH Reit units per share.
SPH, Keppel Corp and their subsidiaries SPH Reit and Keppel Reit called for trading halts before the stock market opened on Monday.
The scheme is subject to approval by SPH and Keppel shareholders and is also subject to other conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The offer is contingent on the successful completion of the media restructuring announced on May 6, which would see the transfer of SPH's media assets to a company limited by guarantee, a not-for-profit entity.
Under Dr Lee's watch, Keppel had undergone significant transformation as it unveiled its long-term strategy to grow as an integrated company providing solutions for sustainable urbanisation, dubbed Vision 2030.
He was succeeded by Keppel board member Danny Teoh.
Dr Lee was minister for information, communications and the arts before he retired from politics in 2009. He also held the defence and manpower portfolios during his 24 years of political office.
He became chairman of SPH in 2011.