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Datapulse completes Tai Seng sale, but says it might restart disk drive manufacturing

THE disposal of Datapulse Technology's Tai Seng property, which housed its manufacturing activities, finally went through on Wednesday, after being scheduled for late-2017.

But Mainboard-listed Datapulse has now said it could resume its digital media storage making. While it now has no operational equipment, manufacturing staff or ongoing sales, the company said it still retains some of the necessary hardware.

It said in an announcement on the Singapore Exchange website that the former management of the company started scaling down operations in November 2017. "The company has since been progressively retrenching its staff, and dismantling and disposing part of its manufacturing equipment," it noted. But "there may be a possibility that the company could consider restarting manufacturing activities if it can find suitable premises to relocate to, although that would depend, inter alia, on how soon this can be done, and any changes to the company's business direction or strategy in the meantime".

Just the day before, on Tuesday, Datapulse's recently appointed board of directors had said it believed "it is not viable or sustainable for the company to continue with its existing business as the sole or primary core business".

By "existing business", the board was referring to the manufacture of media storage products.

Datapulse shifted its registered office on Monday, from 15A, Tai Seng Drive - sold by the former management for S$53.5 million - to an office unit at 150, Beach Road. The company had sought to buy an industrial property in Toa Payoh for S$10.5 million to carry on with its disk drive manufacturing activities.

But the deal fell through.

The company said this was due to a lack of approval from the relevant authorities to use the Toa Payoh site for digital storage media manufacturing.

"There is no guarantee on how soon the company will be able to secure an alternative site to relocate and restart operations," the board said on Tuesday, "and in the event of an extended delay and/or lack of viability in doing so, the company may be faced with the prospect of not being able to continue with its existing business."

Datapulse has been riven of late by a civil war over a proposed diversification to its business.

The feud was precipitated by a new board's December acquisition of a Malaysian company that makes personal care and household products.

It most recently claimed a casualty in chief executive Kee Swee Ann, who had previously worked for the vendor in the Malaysian factory deal. Mr Kee announced his resignation on Tuesday, saying that the decision was made for his health.

Datapulse closed down on Wednesday by half a Singapore cent, or 1.39 per cent, to S$0.355, before the latest announcement.

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