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Vard gets SGX nod for proposed delisting

THE Singapore Exchange has no objection to the delisting of yard group Vard Holdings provided this is approved by the group's shareholders, the listed group said before Thursday's market open.

Vard's majority shareholder, Fincantieri Oil & Gas, announced a renewed bid to privatise the yard group in a delisting proposal announced on Nov 13, 2017. Fincantieri Oil & Gas is wholly owned by Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri SpA.

As of April 4, Fincantieri has acquired 736,000 Vard shares at its exit offer price of 25 Singapore cents, bringing its shareholding in Vard to about 83.06 per cent per cent. This includes all shares owned, controlled and agreed to be acquired by the majority shareholder.

Fincantieri last made an offer to privatise Vard in November 2016. Its previous offer priced at 24 Singapore cents per share received sufficient acceptances to turn unconditional, but fell short of meeting the requisite level for Fincantieri to force a delisting.

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Vard said Fincantieri intends to vote all shares it owns, representing 83.06 per cent, in favour of the delisting proposal at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be convened with minority shareholders. The delisting resolution will be passed unless shareholders holding 10 per cent or more shares present and voting at the coming EGM, vote against it.

Considering the likelihood of the delisting proposal being passed at the EGM, Vard said that "it would be neither meaningful nor justifiable to incur the cost of preparing and issuing the annual report and thereafter holding the annual general meeting" within the timelines stipulated by SGX rules.

The yard group added that it will release its FY17 financial statements for FY17 before issuing the circular for the delisting proposal to the shareholders.

Vard has thus secured SGX's support towards extending the timelines as outlined in the listing rules.