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Cosco cash offer for Cogent turns unconditional

The S$1.02-a-share cash offer of Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) for Cogent Holdings has become unconditional with the offeror having received valid acceptances representing about 92.05 per cent of the total number of shares.

As a result, the percentage of Cogent Holdings' shares held in public hands has fallen below 10 per cent. Under the rules of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), this means trading in Cogent's shares will be suspended when the offer closes.

As at 5pm on Jan 2, 2018, Cosco has received valid acceptances representing 92.05 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares, Bank of China announced on behalf of Cosco after Tuesday's trading hours.

With the offer turned unconditional, Cosco will exercise its compulsory acquisition right and proceed to delist Cogent Holdings from the Singapore Exchange.

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The offer will remain open for acceptance until 5.30pm on Jan 19. Cosco said it has no intention of extending the offer beyond the final closing date.

Cosco had previously received irrevocable undertakings by four Cogent shareholders who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares.

The four undertaking shareholders are Cogent's executive chairman Tan Yeow Khoon, his wife Ng Poh Choo, managing director Tan Yeow Lam, and executive director and chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow, with all four agreeing to accept the offer on or before Jan 3, 2018.

Cosco's offer price represents some 3-1/2 times Cogent's net tangible asset per share of 29.8 Singapore cents as at end-June 2017.

Upon Cogent's delisting, Cosco says it intends for Cogent to continue with its existing business activities, and does not intend to introduce any major changes to Cogent's existing businesses, re-deploy any of Cogent's major fixed assets, or discontinue the employment of any Cogent employees, other than in the ordinary course of business.

Cosco's financial adviser for the deal, Bank of China, will extend a S$350 million loan facility to part fund the takeover.