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Q&M to sell partial stake in associate Aidite for S$49m in net proceeds

DENTAL Group Q&M has agreed to sell a 36 per cent stake in its associate Aidite (Qinhuangdao) Technology for net proceeds of S$49 million, the Mainboard-listed company announced in a bourse filing on Thursday. (see amendment note)

Q&M currently owns 48.2 per cent of Aidite via its subsidiary Q&M Aidite International (QMAI). Aidite is a manufacturer of zirconium oxide blocks used to manufacture dental prosthesis. In paring down QMAI's stake in Aidite to about 12.3 per cent, Q&M will enjoy a net gain on disposal of about S$19 million.

The buyers are Suzhou Junlian Xinkang Venture Capital Partnership, Health Advance Limited, Schroder Adveq Asia Hong Kong I and ASP Hero SPV. The transaction is subject to approval from shareholders via an extraordinary general meeting. 

Q&M plans to use part of the proceeds to declare a special dividend, subject to regulations and market conditions. The proceeds will also be used for working capital and business expansion. 

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Following completion of the sale, QMAI will also enter a joint venture with the other shareholders of Aidite, including the buyers, to engage with Aidite. Q&M invested in Aidite back in 2014 as a strategic move. 

"This deal will enable us to realise and unlock the value of most of our interest in Aidite with a significant gain, while retaining a strategic stake," Ng Chin Siau, CEO of Q&M, said in the press release. 

"The sales proceeds from the disposal will further strengthen the Group's balance sheet and enhance the ability to look for new investment opportunities in China and elsewhere, in tandem with expanding and growing its core business of running dental clinics and hospitals," Dr Ng added. 

Shares of Q&M closed at S$0.49 on Thursday, down S$0.01.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the company was Catalist-listed. The article above has been revised to reflect this.