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Tycoon Oei Hong Leong withdraws acceptance of offer for IPC Corporation stake

TYCOON Oei Hong Leong has withdrawn his acceptance of an offer for his stake in IPC Corporation, the mainboard-listed property group told shareholders on Friday.

The Catalist board's Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments had entered into a conditional letter of offer on Jan 29 for a 46.91 per cent interest in IPC.

This would have triggered a mandatory unconditional offer for the rest of IPC's shares.

The Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments board had said on Thursday evening that the company "is currently seeking professional advice in relation to the withdrawal and will provide further updates as and when material developments concerning the above arise".

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Meanwhile, IPC said in its announcement that it "will provide further updates as and when material developments" arise relating to the matter.

When the proposed acquisition was first announced, Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments pointed to IPC's property development and investment businesses in China and said that it intended to integrate IPC's business with that of its own, after its own recent expansions into the Chinese market.

It also said that it planned to keep IPC's listing status and intended for the IPC to continue its existing business activities.

Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments had planned to pay for the proposed acquisition by issuing 133 new, fully paid-up ordinary shares for every target share, with fractional entitlements to be rounded down to the nearest whole share.

This offer arrangement represented a 28.2 per cent premium to the last traded price of IPC shares on Jan 26 - the last trading day before the announcement - and a 6.6 per cent discount to the volume-weighted average price for the three-month period to Jan 26.

Mr Oei was deemed a concert party to the offeror based on a 34.82 per cent interest in Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments, following a sub-underwriting arrangement where he subscribed for about four billion rights shares.

Roughly 40 million IPC shares would have been up for grabs under the proposed acquisition. Of those, 28.1 million shares - or about 33 per cent of IPC - would have been bought from Mr Oei.

The rest would have come from the collective ownership of Patrick, Benjamin and Alfred Ngiam, Lauw Hui Kian, Essex Investments and their nominees.

Mr Patrick Ngiam is IPC's chairman and chief executive, while the others are also executive directors of the company.

IPC closed up by half a Singapore cent, or 1.47 per cent, at S$0.345, before the announcement.