Sime Darby raises stake in E&O

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd has raised its equity interest in developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) to 31.96% following recent share purchases.

Filings with Bursa Malaysia show that the group has bought an additional 15.4 million shares or 1.39% equity interest in E&O since June 27, raising its holdings to 353.48 million shares.

The conglomerate took up a 30.56% stake in E&O in 2011, paying RM766 million or RM2.30 per share, which was a 59% premium to E&O’s share price at the time.

The acquisition triggered an investigation into whether Sime Darby should be required to make a general offer for the remaining shares as it was seen as acting in concert with E&O’s three major shareholders who had sold their shares to the group. The Securities Commission ruled that a GO was not required.

Sime Darby, whose landbank is located outside of city centres, had said its investment in E&O was for exposure to  property projects in hot spots such as Kuala Lumpur city centre, Penang and Iskandar Malaysia.  

For the first six months of this year, E&O shares peaked in May at RM2.25 from their January low of RM1.50. Yesterday, the counter shed six sen to close at RM2.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 30, 2013.


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