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Datapulse CEO will diversify controversial hair products business into distribution

DATAPULSE Technology will expand its recently acquired hair care product manufacturer into the distribution business, chief executive Wilson Teng said on Thursday as that business and his directorship are being challenged by a bloc of minority shareholders.

Wayco Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd, which Datapulse acquired in December 2017 for S$3.43 million, currently produces six core brands of hair care products that are distributed in Singapore and Malaysia. Datapulse is primarily a disk drive maker.

A strategic review by Ernst & Young that was disclosed in March found that Wayco was not a sustainable business, although it had "the potential to improve its business viability by transforming its business into a value chain play by developing its distribution capability and its suite of brand assets and products".

Mr Teng, who was appointed in March this year, said in a media release on Thursday that if the current board survives a shareholders' vote this month, it will carry out a review of Wayco's product portfolio, adopt direct distribution in key markets and "draw up a roadmap for some form of e-commerce related sales".

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Datapulse shareholders will decide on April 20 whether to keep Mr Teng and the other existing directors of the company.

Dissident shareholders led by former finance director Ng Bie Tjin, who is also the daughter of the company's co-founder, are proposing to replace the board with their own nominees and review the company's acquisition of Wayco. That deal that has come under criticism over concerns about its value and the way in which the acquisition was carried out.