OUE makes offer to take over International Healthway Corp at 10.6 cents a share

OUE has agreed to purchase shares representing a 35.77 per cent stake in International Healthway Corp for 10.6 cents a share.
OUE has agreed to purchase shares representing a 35.77 per cent stake in International Healthway Corp for 10.6 cents a share. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Oxley executives who wrestled control of medical property developer International Healthway Corp (IHC) last month in a shareholder coup have agreed to sell their stakes to another real estate operator, OUE, for 10.6 cents a share.

In a statement to the Singapore Exchange on Thursday, OUE said that it had inked a deal with Oxley boss Ching Chiat Kwong and deputy chief executive Eric Low, as well as two others for the purchase of shares representing a 35.77 per cent stake in IHC.

The deal will be sealed by way of married deals, after which OUE will emerge with a 57.6 per cent stake in IHC.

OUE on Thursday also launched a cash offer for all the remaining IHC shares that it does not own, at 10.6 cents a share.

The offer is being made through offer vehicle Treasure International.

At 10.6 cents a share, the offer price represents a 1.9 per cent premium to the last transacted price of 10.4 cents, before trading was halted on Wednesday.

The offer price also represents a 14.2 per cent premium to the volume-weighted average price per share over a one-month period.

OUE said that it intends to maintain the listing status of IHC, although it may decide not to take steps to preserve IHC's listing status if the offer results in OUE controlling more than 90 per cent of IHC.

OUE first took a position in IHC in January, scooping up a 12.5 per cent stake in the company the same day that the Oxley executives led the ouster of the IHC's previous board at an extraordinary general meeting.

On Feb 8, OUE raised its stake in IHC to 21.83 per cent, sparking much speculation on what its next move would be.

Catalist-listed IHC owns 12 nursing homes in Japan and two hospitals in China, and is developing an integrated medical centre in Malaysia.

OUE executive chairman Stephen Riady said in a statement: "This acquisition allows us to expand into the new sector of healthcare real estate, which is a strategic fit to our existing asset portfolio comprising commercial, hospitality, retail and residential properties.

"Given the rapidly ageing population in Japan and Asia and the consequent rising demand for healthcare, it is a timely entry into a sector that we see has tremendous growth potential."

OUE shares fell 2.5 cents or 1.27 per cent to $1.945 on Thursday, before the announcement was made.