OCBC’s Lee family makes counterbid for Straits Trading

A bidding war appears to be looming for diversified Straits Trading Company.

The Lee family that controls OCBC Bank is making a counter-offer for shares in Straits Trading Company that it does not already own.

The Lees, who already own 34 percent of Straits Trading, are offering to pay S$5.76 cash a share.

This values Straits Trading at S$1.88 billion.

The latest offer is higher than the one by rival, Tecity, an investment firm controlled by the family of the late Tan Chin Tuan.

Tecity had made a conditional cash offer earlier this month for Straits Trading Company at $5.70 per share.

Straits Trading shares closed at $5.71 on Thursday.

The stock has rise 14 percent since the start of the year, after Tecity made its bid and talk that there would be a counter offer.

Straits Trading’s businesses range from hotels and properties to the metals and mining sectors.

In the first nine months of the financial year ended September 2007, it earned net profit of more than S$300 million on revenues of $727 million. – CNA/ch

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 24 Jan 2008

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