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RHT to undertake review of Datapulse's internal controls, corporate governance practices

THE board of Datapulse Technology has appointed law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP to undertake a review of internal controls and corporate governance practices at the embattled mainboard-listed company.

Datapulse announced RHT's appointment on Sunday after the Singapore Exchange on Feb 23 slapped the company with a notice of compliance, mandating that independent professionals be appointed to review the company's internal controls and corporate governance practices.

Datapulse was instructed to appoint the reviewers by Mar 9, but the company said SGX has extended the deadline to the end of Mar 11.

The announcement of RHT's appointment on Sunday flagged four areas to be covered by the review:

- Determine the facts and circumstance surrounding the board's approval for the acquisition of personal care product company Wayco Manufacturing on Dec 12, 2017;

- Review the adequacy of Datapulse's internal policies, processes and procedures relating to the evaluation and approval of mergers and acquisitions, and conflicts of interest since Nov 23, 2000, the date when the company was transferred to SGX mainboard;

- Review Datapulse's processes relating to the changes of its board, including appointment and nomination of directors by shareholders, since the review date; and

- Make recommendations on improvements to internal controls and corporate governance practices

RHT will report the findings of the review in due course to SGX and Datapulse's audit committee.

Datapulse added that as it has undertaken other acquisitions and disposal before the proposed buy-out for Wayco, its board has decided that this review should commence from Nov 23, 2000, the date of its transfer to SGX mainboard.

The firm's proposed buy-out for Wayco and its diversification into the personal care business have been contested by a group led by Ng Bie Tjin and Uniseraya Holdings, who hold a combined 16 per cent stake.

Considering Ms Ng had left the company in 2014, Datapulse said that a decision was also made to expand the scope of the review to include processes relating to changes to its board.

This will allow RHT to arrive at more holistic recommendations, it explained.