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Ngiam family walks away from IPC Corp offer after tycoon Oei Hong Leong's exit

A CONDITIONAL offer for the Ngiam family's shares in mainboard-listed IPC Corporation has been terminated "with mutual consent", the board of directors said on Wednesday evening.

Chief executive Patrick Ngiam, his wife and executive director Lauw Hui Kian, managing director Benjamin Ngiam and executive director Alfred Ngiam had earlier accepted an offer from Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments for 11.9 million of their shares, or a 13.95 per cent stake in IPC.

"Shareholders are advised to read this announcement and any further announcements by the company carefully," the board said in its announcement.

"Shareholders and potential investors are reminded to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the company and should consult their stockbrokers, bank managers, solicitors or other professional advisers if they have any doubt about the actions that they should take."

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Catalist-listed Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments had also made a bid for 28.1 million shares, or a 32.96 per cent interest, from tycoon Oei Hong Leong.

The move would have triggered a mandatory unconditional offer for the rest of IPC's shares - but Mr Oei withdrew his acceptance of the offer on March 2.

Mr Oei was deemed a concert party to the offeror, based on his 34.82 per cent interest in Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments.

Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments said on March 6 that it would still go on with acquiring the remaining shares from the Ngiams.

It would have paid for the acquisition by issuing 133 new shares for every target share, and said at the time of its initial announcement that its aim was to integrate IPC's businesses with its own.

IPC closed down by two and a half Singapore cents at S$0.325 on Wednesday, before the news, while Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments finished lower by 0.1 Singapore cent, at 0.2 Singapore cent.