Takeover target Mary Chia loses public float, says offeror intends to take steps to restore it

Mary Chia Holdings' shares that are held in public hands have dropped below the minimum 10 per cent required by the Singapore Exchange.
Mary Chia Holdings' shares that are held in public hands have dropped below the minimum 10 per cent required by the Singapore Exchange. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The percentage of shares in takeover target Mary Chia Holdings held in public hands has dropped below the minimum 10 per cent required by the Singapore Exchange, the beauty and wellness company said in a pre-market Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday (Sept 28).

This happened because Suki Sushi, which launched an unconditional mandatory offer for the company last month, now owns, controls or has agreed to acquire about 90.1 per cent of its shares, as of 5pm on Sept 27.

Suki Sushi, which operates Japanese and fusion-concept cuisine restaurants in Singapore, is controlled by Lee Boon Leng, the husband of Mary Chia's chief executive Ho Yow Ping, who is the daughter of Mary Chia Ah Tow, the founder of the Catalist-listed company.

Under Catalist rules, SGX may suspend trading of a company's shares should the offeror and parties in concert with the offeror own or control more than 90 per cent of the shares, until it is satisfied that at least 10 per cent of the shares are held by at least 200 shareholders who are members of the public.

And where the offeror succeeds in garnering acceptances exceeding 90 per cent of the shares, excluding treasury shares, the exchange will suspend the trading of the counter at the close of the offer.

Suki Sushi's offer for Mary Chia closes at 5.30pm on Oct 6. Mary Chia said in its Thursday filing, that the offer will not be extended.

It said the offeror intends to take such steps which are necessary to restore the company's public float in order to maintain the listing status of the company. However, there is no assurance that timely and appropriate actions can be taken as these are dependent on inter alia prevailing market conditions at the relevant time, it added.

"In the event that the shareholding requirement cannot be met, trading in the shares may be suspended and/or the company may be delisted," it said.