OCBC sells its 6.2% stake in Straits Trading to Tecity

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) says it will accept Tecity’s bid for Straits Trading.

It will sell its 6.2% stake, generating proceeds of S$135.3m. The announcement comes just days after the Lee family, which controls OCBC, pulled out of the bidding war for Tecity.

And on Monday, insurer Great Eastern Holdings also announced that it was selling its stake to Tecity.

OCBC had been quoted earlier as saying that it was considering the offer.

Explaining its decision to sell, OCBC said its 6.2% stake would have lost the added value of being part of the combined shareholding of 33.4% held by the bank and related firms.

Analysts agreed, saying that the decision is reasonable given that OCBC’s 6.2% stake is comparatively small.

Tecity said that as at 5pm on March 3, it had garnered control of a 41.11% stake in Straits Trading.

Add to that, Great Eastern’s and OCBC’s stakes, and Tecity would have control of nearly 68% of Straits Trading.

This will make the offer unconditional.

Shares in Straits Trading have been jumping since early this year, thanks to the bidding war.

The counter closed almost half a percent lower on Tuesday, at $6.67 a piece. – CNA/ir

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Mar 2008

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