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ARA Asset Management Q4 2016 net falls 28%; firm gets regulatory approval for privatisation

ARA Asset Management which is in the process of being privatised, said on Thursday that Q4 2016 net profit fell 28 per cent to S$18.5 million on lower acquisition fees and a jump in costs.

The group did not declare a dividend unlike the previous corresponding period's 2.7 cents a share. It had informed shareholders on Nov 8, 2016, the day it announced a buyout of the company by a consortium, that no dividend will be declared or proposed for the period under review.

The privatisation bid is led by its group founder and chief executive officer, John Lim. The consortium, which includes Cheung Kong Property and The Straits Trading Company, wants to take the group private at S$1.78 a share and values the company at S$1.78 billion based on its total issued share.

The privatisation will be through a scheme of arrangement, which requires the approval of at least 75 per cent of the value of shares of the voting shareholders and more than half of shareholders being present and voting in person or by proxy. The consortium shareholders will not vote on their shares at the meeting.

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Under the scheme of arrangement, the offeror is a special-purpose vehicle, Athena Investment Company (Cayman) Limited.

On Thursday, ARA and Athena said it has obtained regulatory approvals for the scheme of arrangement.

Outstanding are getting shareholders' approval and a court order. The group will hold a shareholders' meeting by March 31, 2017.

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