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Nico founders sell controlling stake to private investor at discount

THE founding family of Nico Steel Holdings sold a controlling stake to an entrepreneur and private investor, the metal alloy supplier announced on Monday.

A limited liability company called Parot Tovot on Jan 19 became a 28.38 per cent shareholder of Nico by buying 36 million shares for S$3.42 million, or 9.5 Singapore cents apiece, from DSAG Investment.

Nico shares closed at 11.5 Singapore cents on Jan 19. They headed out at 12 Singapore cents on Monday, lower by half a cent or 4 per cent.

DSAG is jointly controlled by Nico chairman and president Danny Tan Chee Khiong; his brothers Tang Chee Wee, who is also executive director, and Tang Chee Bian; and their father, Tang Hee Kya. DSAG's stake now stands at 34.01 per cent from 62.4 per cent before the disposal.

Nico said Parot Tovot is solely owned by one Dov Rauschwerger. The company described him as "an entrepreneur and private investor" with "contacts with various private equity funds and key players of various businesses, including the electronics and bio-technology industries in the USA and elsewhere".

"The company and DSAG hope to tap on Mr Rauschwerger's contacts and experience in aiding the company in its continued efforts to streamline and diversify its businesses and to return more value to its shareholders," Nico stated.

For the half-year ended Aug 31, 2014, Nico's net loss widened to US$473,000 from US$244,000.