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Sias offers to meet LTC Corp over minority shareholders' voluntary delisting woes

THE Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or Sias, offered on Friday to reach out to mainboard-listed LTC Corp for a meeting to address minority shareholders' concerns over a proposed delisting.

LTC Corp, which deals in steel and real estate, obtained the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) go-ahead in October for a planned voluntary delisting with an exit offer of 92.5 Singapore cents a share.

But shareholders sprang a surprise adjournment of the delisting vote at an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday, citing the Singapore Exchange Regulation's (SGX RegCo) recent proposed changes to delisting rules.

"Investors are naturally confused, as the new proposal by SGX is preliminary and only open for consultation. It is not in force yet," Sias founder and chief David Gerald said in a statement that was e-mailed to the press in the evening.

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"The fact is, the rights of shareholders, presently in this instance, fall under the current rules."

SGX RegCo's proposal, which is open to public feedback until Dec 7, would block offerors and their concert parties from voting on voluntary delistings.

The changes would also lower the approval threshold from 75 per cent to a simple majority of independent shareholders, and would axe the provision that a delisting cannot go on if opposed by shareholders with more than 10 per cent of issued shares.

Under the proposed new regime, exit offers in voluntary delistings must be both fair and reasonable, in the opinion of the independent financial adviser. This criterion was met by LTC Corp, Mr Gerald noted.

"Sias welcomes minority shareholders to express their concerns, if any, and Sias will be happy to reach out to the company for a meeting to address their concerns," Mr Gerald added.