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OEL managing director, chairman to quit after divesting entire stake

THE managing director and chairman of OEL (Holdings), Jeffrey Hing, will be resigning following the disposal of his entire stake in the company, the property management group announced on Monday. 

BT reported on Dec 20 that Mr Hing has divested his 29.6 per cent interest to six individual buyers for S$6.04 million, or about 3.06 Singapore cents a share. 

Substantial shareholder of the company, Zhang Jian, is proposing one of the purchasers, Zhao Xin, to take over Mr Hing's position as managing director and chairman. 

Mr Hing's resignation and Ms Zhao's appointment will be subject to the approval of the nominating committee and the board, in consultation with its sponsor, OEL said. 

Asked by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) why Mr Hing had sold off his entire stake in the company, OEL noted that the purchasers were willing and able to complete the purchase, and that it was an opportunity for Mr Hing to realise his past investments. 

The disposal price of 3.0595 Singapore cents is about eight times the counter's closing market price of 0.4 Singapore cent, and its 90 days volume-weighted average price of 0.405 Singapore cent on Dec 20. 

In response to SGX's query on why the purchasers are prepared to pay this amount, OEL said that Mr Hing was only willing to sell his shares at this price, which he felt was representative of his investment and the loss of a controlling interest in the company. 

The purchasers then proceeded to conduct their own due diligence and identified the firm as a "suitable investment despite the high asking price", OEL said. 

Based on their due diligence, the purchasers are of the view that the company has a healthy balance sheet. They also have plans to venture into the healthcare industry, and were looking to invest in a Singapore-listed company, so that it will be easier to raise funds for future plans. 

In a regulatory filing on Monday, OEL also noted that Mr Hing was introduced to the purchasers through a broker. 

The purchasers are Mr Zhang, Ms Zhao, Liu Yunhua, Wang Jue, Quak Choon Chai and Deng Rong. The first three are shareholders and directors of Eminence Investment, while Ms Wang provides business consultancy services to Eminence Investment. 

Mr Deng and Mr Zhang are former business associates, while Mr Quak and Mr Zhang met through a mutual friend. 

"The purchasers are currently exploring several business plans and will update shareholders in due course," OEL said. 

As at 10.03am on Monday, OEL shares were flat at 0.8 Singapore cent.