Wheelock Properties to privatise on Oct 18

Wheelock's parent firm, Wheelock and Company reached a 90.1% stake at the close of the voluntary unconditional general offer on October 2.

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After being around on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for 37 years, at precisely 9am on October 18, this property developer will no longer be listed on the SGX.

Wheelock Properties was founded in 1972 and listed on the SGX in 1981. Its development properties include Grange Residences, Ardmore Park, and Scotts Square. It is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed firm Wheelock and Company.

Wheelock Properties had earlier this month said in a filing on the SGX that its parent firm’s stake in the company has reached 90.1% at the close of the voluntary unconditional general offer on October 2. The group had placed an offer price of S$2.10 per share, which would value Wheelock Properties at S$2.51 billion.

It is in the SGX listing rulebook for a company to issue at least 10% of the total number of issued shares for the public. To buyout a company and take it offline in a compulsory acquisition would require a controlling stake of more than 90%. Trading for Wheelock Properties was suspended after the offer closed.

The group’s parent company had earlier voiced its interest on July 19 this year to privatise Wheelock Properties. It was a move which saw Wheelock Properties’ shares surge past the offer price of S$2.10 to hit a peak of S$2.18 the day the news broke, with prices even gaining to as high as S$2.24 in the next few days, as investors were expecting the buyout price to be elevated.

However in September, Wheelock and Company dashed the hopes of investors, saying in an announcement through DBS bank that it will not be changing the offer price of S$2.10. The firm had called on existing investors to accept the offer to reinvest the monies in other stocks or to use the cash proceeds for other purposes.

The offer price of S$2.10 was a premium of 20.7% from S$1.74 - the counter’s closing price a day before the delisting offer was made in July. Wheelock Properties’ parent said the delisting would allow the company to have more flexibility in managing its business and allow it to optimise its capital resources and management team.

Independent financial adviser PrimePartners Corporate Finance has called the offer “fair and reasonable”.

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