SPH seeks to buy back outstanding $500m of 3.2% notes due 2030

Some 89.2 per cent of 2,728 SPH shareholders voted in favour of the takeover offer from consortium Cuscaden Peak. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore Press Holdings on Thursday (March 24) launched a consent solicitation and tender offer exercise to buy back its outstanding $500 million 3.2 per cent notes due 2030, issued under the group's $1 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme.

Noteholders are invited to sell back their notes to the company, in cash, at a purchase price of 100.75 per cent of the principal amount from March 24 until the expiration deadline at 2pm on April 18.

Those who deliver their consent by 5pm on April 7 will receive an early consent fee equal to 0.25 per cent of the principal amount. Consent received after this deadline will entail a normal consent fee of 0.15 per cent.

DBS Bank has been appointed by SPH as its dealer manager for the exercise.

Earlier this week, some 89.2 per cent of 2,728 SPH shareholders voted in favour of the takeover offer from consortium Cuscaden Peak at a virtual scheme meeting on March 22. The total shares represented by all the votes received account for 31.4 per cent of SPH's share capital of 1.62 billion shares.

The majority also voted yes to the proposed distribution-in-specie of SPH Reit (real estate investment trust) units under the Cuscaden scheme at the extraordinary general meeting.

SPH said it will proceed to apply to the court to sanction the Cuscaden scheme on or around April 5.

In its latest March 24 announcement, SPH said it is seeking approval through an extraordinary resolution of its noteholders to waive provisions of its trust deed and conditions in relation to the scheme as well as include the call option to redeem the notes in the conditions, among others.

It has called for a noteholders' meeting on April 20 to vote on the extraordinary resolution.

Should it be passed, this will allow SPH to redeem all of the notes - then outstanding at 100 per cent of the principal amount - together with interest accrued so that the notes will no longer be outstanding, and the noteholders will not be entitled to any further payments after the redemption.

The company also intends to exercise its call option so that all outstanding notes may be redeemed within 10 business days after the settlement date.

Shares of SPH were trading unchanged at $2.35 as at 11.09am, after the news.

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