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Keppel-SPH joint venture stands pat on offer price for M1, extends offer closing date

Singapore

THE joint venture (JV) company of Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has announced that it will not raise the S$2.06 offer it has made for each share in M1 that it does not already own.

The company, Konnectivity, has also extended the closing date of its offer by at least two weeks.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the JV majority owned by Keppel said it does not intend to increase the offer price "under any circumstances whatsoever".

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It added that the closing date for the offer has been extended from 5.30pm on Feb 4 to Feb 18, or a later date that may be announced.

As at the market close on Monday, the total number of shares owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by Konnectivity and its concert parties amounted to about 318 million shares, representing about 34.4 per cent of the total number of shares in M1.

On Monday, CLSA Singapore noted that the offer Keppel and SPH are making for M1 is "fair and reasonable and not prejudicial to the interests of shareholders as a whole".

The independent financial advisor to the independent directors of M1 said: "Accordingly, we advise the recommending directors to recommend that shareholders accept the offer, unless shareholders are able to obtain a price higher than the offer price on the open market, taking into account all brokerage commissions or transactions costs in connection with open-market transactions."

The offer price represents a 36 per cent premium over the lowest closing price of S$1.52 over the 52-week period before the last trading date prior to the offer; it is also a 25 per cent premium over equity research analysts' average target price of S$1.644.

M1 shares closed at S$2.05 apiece on Tuesday, down 0.97 per cent, or two Singapore cents.