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Delisting bid for Vard 'not fair, but reasonable'; IDs tell shareholders to accept

THE delisting offer for shipbuilder Vard Holdings is not fair, but reasonable, said independent financial adviser CIMB in a report released on Friday.

CIMB's advice to Vard's independent directors is to recommend that shareholders either accept the exit offer, or sell their shares on the open market - a conclusion that has been accepted by the independent directors as well.

The majority shareholder of Vard Holdings is making another bid to privatise the shipbuilder after minority shareholders rejected its earlier offer.

Italy's Fincantieri SpA, which controls more than 80 per cent of Vard, is now offering to buy the remaining shares it does not own at 25 Singapore cents apiece, one cent more than its previous offer made in 2016.

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CIMB assessed that the exit offer is not fair, because among other things, the exit offer price is at a discount to net asset value per share, and that the group's financial performance has improved in fiscal 2017.

But given that Fincantieri already owns some 83 per cent of the shares, and that the market price of the shares since the close of the first offer in 2016 is likely to have been supported by market purchases by Fincantieri, the exit offer is "reasonable", CIMB said.

The extraordinary general meeting to vote on the delisting will be held on April 30, 2018 at 1pm.