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Vendor in NauticAWT restaurant deal unrelated to directors, key shareholders

THE vendor in Catalist-listed oil and gas engineering group NauticAWT's bid to buy a restaurant chain in Thailand is not related to any directors, controlling shareholders or associates, the board said in a bourse filing on Friday evening.

The company, which struck a deal to take a 35 per cent stake in Rich Restaurant Company from director Kritsada Tunpow for 70 million baht (S$3.1 million), had disclosed on Dec 18 that its controlling shareholder, Chirasak Chiyachantana, owns about 3.83 per cent of Rich Restaurant.

According to the earlier announcement, Dr Chirasak, who used to belong to Rich Restaurant's board and management, is abstaining from all board talks on the planned share purchase.

As an investor in Rich Restaurant, Dr Chirasak identified and introduced the Thai casual eatery chain to NauticAWT "as he believes that this represents a good investment opportunity for the group", the company had said at the time.

The NauticAWT board, which said in its latest filing that listing sponsor UOB Kay Hian confirmed that the proposed buy is a discloseable transaction under Catalist rules, added that "Dr Chirasak and Mr Kritsada are business associates and they are also both investors in other companies".

None of the other directors or their associates have any interest in the deal, it reiterated.