EGM to oust four Datapulse directors

Requisition notice also seeks to relook firm's diversification and investment strategy

The family of former Datapulse Technology chairman and co-founder Ng Khim Guan is seeking to replace four directors on the company's board and re-evaluate the firm's diversification strategy.

Yesterday, the digital media storage maker said it has received a requisition notice to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) from Mr Ng's daughter Ng Bie Tjin and Uniseraya Holdings. They have a combined stake of about 16 per cent in the company.

Ms Ng, the company's finance director from 1994 to 2014, is now an independent non-executive director of Aspial Corporation and SunMoon Food Company. She is also a director of Uniseraya Holdings.

As the requisition notice was filed on Dec 26, the EGM must be held no later than Feb 26.

In a filing with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Uniseraya and Ms Ng said the EGM is for shareholders to consider the removal of Mr Low Beng Tin as non-executive chairman and company director with effect from the date of the EGM, and of three other directors - Mr Thomas Ng, Mr Rainer Teo and Mr Kee Swee Ann. These include taking all necessary steps to remove the four from all appointments within the group, its subsidiaries and associated companies, they said.

Another item on the agenda is an evaluation of the company's diversification and investment strategy to consolidate its business. Among other things, the notice stated that the company shall not carry out any diversification beyond its businesses as at Dec 10, until such time that a complete feasibility study of any proposed diversification is carried out, and that directors take all necessary steps to put into effect the matters set out in the requisition.

This comes as Datapulse acquired Wayco Manufacturing for a cash consideration of $3.5 million earlier this month, and entered into an entirely new business of manufacturing hair care, cosmetics and other homecare chemical products through the acquisition.

Responding to SGX's queries on this deal, Datapulse said yesterday it did not conduct due diligence on Wayco Manufacturing prior to the acquisition as its CEO, Mr Kee, was general manager of the vendor, Way Company, and is "familiar with the business and operations of the target company".

It added that under a supplemental agreement entered into on Dec 15, the firm has a right to require the vendor to buy back the target company during the buyback period, if there are any material adverse events affecting the assets or liabilities of Wayco Manufacturing. The buyback period is one year from the date of the completed acquisition.

In a separate SGX filing, Datapulse said it is "currently verifying the shareholding of the requisitioning members, as well as seeking legal advice on the validity of their request for convening of the EGM to pass the aforesaid resolutions".

Datapulse yesterday ended 12.5 per cent higher at 31.5 cents, with 1.9 million shares changing hands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2017, with the headline 'EGM to oust four Datapulse directors'. Print Edition | Subscribe