TMC Education stock jumps on news of takeover bid by property magnate

SINGAPORE - TMC Education Corp shares jumped three Singapore cents or 75 per cent to seven Singapore cents when it resumed trading on Friday (Dec 15), following news of a takeover bid by hotel and property magnate Koh Wee Meng.

Earlier on Friday morning, it was announced that Singapore tycoon Mr Koh had launched a S$4.2 million takeover bid for the Catalist-listed firm at 6.75 Singapore cents apiece.

The mandatory unconditional cash offer follows Mr Koh's private vehicle JK Global Asset's acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in the firm from TMC Education's controlling shareholders Chin Kon Yuen and Yeow Cheng Kim completed on Friday.

This was announced by SAC Capital Private on behalf of the offeror. Mr Chin and Ms Yeow are TMC Education's executive chairman and executive director/chief executive officer respectively.

After the completion of the 51 per cent stake sale by the controlling owners to Mr Koh, some 11.65 per cent of TMC Education will continue to be held by Ms Yeow.

Collectively, Mr Koh's takeover of the private education firm could cost him nearly S$10 million.

The offer represents a 69 per cent premium over TMC Education's last traded price prior to Thursday's trading halt of four Singapore cents and a 50 per cent premium to the stock's one-month volume-weighted average price.

The offeror does not intend to continue the core education business and will perform a strategic review after the offer closes. Mr Koh also plans to retain the listing status of TMC Education.

The takeover offer follows an earlier announcement that TMC Education plans to sell wholly-owned TMC Academy to Advanced Investment Holdings - a special purpose vehicle controlled by Dr Chin and Ms Yeow. Based on the independent valuer's preliminary indicative valuation of TMC Academy and pending the final valuation, the sale shares are worth S$5.2 million as of end-September.

As the deal involves an interested person transaction, it would require the nod of independent shareholders.

The offer price is final and the offeror does not intend to revise the offer price.