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Reports on company going on sale are 'rumours': Eu Yan Sang

EU Yan Sang has refuted media reports of the company going on sale, referring to them as "rumours". 

In a statement on Tuesday, CEO Aaron Boey said the group is aware of "certain press reports published today with respect to a possible sale of the company".

"As a policy, we do not comment on rumours," he said.

Instead, during these "extremely challenging times", the group will remain focused on executing its strategies and enhancing shareholder value, Mr Boey added. 

The statement came after Reuters on Tuesday reported sources saying Eu Yan Sang was putting itself up for sale, but that process would likely be delayed now given the novel coronavirus outbreak.

It's because the Singapore company was looking largely at Chinese buyers, and had aimed to be valued at over US$500 million, said Reuters, citing the sources. 

Since delisting from the Singapore bourse in 2016, the majority ownership of Eu Yan Sang has come to rest with a consortium consisting of the Eu family, Temasek, and private equity firm Tower Capital.

Temasek had declined comment to Reuters. 

And as to whether Eu Yan Sang might list itself again, Mr Boey told The Business Times in a recent interview that it was a question for shareholders. "On our part, management is more focused on driving and creating better shareholder value," he had said. 

However, he added: "Once you create that value, you open up options on how shareholders can realise it - selling to other buyers, for instance."

In 2018, the group posted a profit of S$39 million, on the back of revenues just under S$300 million. For that year, Eu Yan Sang also gave shareholders a dividend payout of 2.5 Singapore cents per share, the first time it did so since the company delisted.