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USP shareholders call for EGM to remove 5 directors

TWO shareholders have requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove five out of six directors on USP Group's board, and to replace them with four candidates.

The mainboard-listed indium ingot dealer said on Monday that it received a requisition notice on Jan 10 from shareholders Tanoto Sau Ian and Tan Khoon Yong.

The duo are looking to oust Siew Chen Yei, Tay Tian Leng, Yip Mun Foong, Raymond Ong Sie Hou and Chan Siew Wei, as well as any director who may be appointed between Jan 10, 2020 and the EGM date. Only one of the existing directors, Yin Kum Choy, is not proposed to be removed.

Mr Tanoto Sau and Mr Tan are also looking to appoint Mr Tanoto Sau as a director, along with Mak Chung Yee, Kelvin Tan Wee Peng and Low Chee Chiew.

They have proposed that Mr Tanoto Sau become an executive director while the other three be named independent non-executive directors, if appointed to the board.

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On Jan 10, Mr Tanoto Sau paid S$3.1 million to raise his stake in USP by 14.17 per cent to 25.14 per cent, according to the company's disclosure on Friday evening. He had begun a series of share purchases three weeks ago, when he first became a shareholder on Dec 23, 2019 by acquiring a 5.54 per cent deemed interest, USP filings show.

Meanwhile, Mr Tan owns 46,500 shares as at Jan 10, according to the requisition notice. This is about 0.05 per cent of the total 90.3 million issued ordinary shares of the company.

USP said it is verifying the shareholding of Mr Tanoto Sau and Mr Tan, and is also seeking legal advice on the validity of their request to convene an EGM for the proposed resolutions.

In the meantime, shareholders and investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the company's shares, USP said on Monday.

Separately, USP announced early this month that its chief financial officer will leave on Jan 31. It was the eighth departure disclosed by the company in the past year.

USP joined the Singapore bourse's financial watch list in December 2019. The counter was trading flat at 11.5 Singapore cents as at 9.20am on Monday, after the announcement about the requisition notice.

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