Takeover offer for Neo Group turns unconditional; public float lost

Neo Group's founder, chief executive officer and chairman Neo Kah Kiat.
Neo Group's founder, chief executive officer and chairman Neo Kah Kiat.PHOTO: NEO GROUP

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The offer for Catalist-listed Neo Group has turned unconditional, the food caterer said in an exchange filing on Monday (April 19).

Neo Group recorded receiving valid acceptances of the offer amounting to about 91.2 per cent of the total number of issued shares. Management shareholders Neo Kah Kiat, who is Neo Group's founder, chief executive officer and chairman, and executive director Liew Oi Peng, both tendered about 82.3 per cent of the shares, pursuant to their irrevocable undertakings. Other concert parties of the offeror apart from the management shareholders tendered the remaining 1.4 per cent of the total number of issued shares.

The remaining shares held publicly amount to about 8.8 per cent, which falls below the Catalist board's free float requirement of 10 per cent. Thus, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) will suspend the trading of the shares when the offer closes, the announcement noted.

Forrest Investment, the offeror of the deal, will take the company private and does not intend to preserve the listing status of the company. It added that should the shares of Neo Group be suspended by SGX, there will be no intention on the offeror's part to request that the suspension be lifted.

The final closing date of the offer has been extended to 5.30pm on May 25, 2021, from the initial date of May 11, 2021, 5.30pm. The offeror has given notice that any acceptances received after the final closing date will be rejected.

In March this year, the offeror said that delisting and privatising Neo Group will allow "greater control and management flexibility" to manage the business, respond to changing market conditions, and optimise the use of management and resources.