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FJ Benjamin rights cum warrants issue oversubscribed

FASHION and lifestyle retailer FJ Benjamin Holdings' rights cum warrants issue exercise to raise up to S$39 million for working capital and expansion has been oversubscribed by 48.6 per cent.

The rights shares, priced at 3.5 Singapore cents apiece, will raise net proceeds of S$7.8 million. This comes at a time when the group is "returning to profitability following a multi-year restructuring programme to terminate loss-making businesses, close down unprofitable stores, streamline backend operations and cut costs", it said in a statement on Thursday.

FJ Benjamin told shareholders last month that the funds raised will support expansion plans and general corporate purposes, such as for working capital, funding new projects, capital improvements and making strategic investments and acquisitions.

As the demand for the three-for-five rights issue exceeded supply, founder Frank Benjamin and investor Peter Lim Eng Hock will not be allotted any excess shares with warrants.

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Both had earlier undertaken to take up all excess rights cum warrants if the issue was not fully subscribed.

"We are grateful that shareholders have given overwhelming support to our latest fund-raising exercise, the first in 16 years," said group chief executive Nash Benjamin.

If shareholders exercise all the warrants, issued on the basis of two free warrants for each rights share, FJ Benjamin will stand to raise another S$27 million. The warrants, with a three-year exercise period, are priced at 4 Singapore cents each.

The rights shares are expected to be allotted on Thursday and listed on the Singapore Exchange on Monday, while the warrants are scheduled to be allotted on Friday and listed from Tuesday.