Founder of Singapore's OSIM sweetens bid to take company private

Founder of Singapore's OSIM sweetens bid to take company private

OSIM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Sim, who holds nearly 70 per cent of the company, has raised his offer to S$1.39 per share in cash, up from S$1.32 announced last month.

SINGAPORE: The founder of Singapore massage chair maker OSIM International on Tuesday (Apr 5) raised a bid to take the firm private by 5 per cent, to more than S$320 million, hoping to win over minority investors including international funds.

OSIM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Sim, who holds nearly 70 per cent of the company, has raised his offer to S$1.39 per share in cash, up from S$1.32 announced last month, according to a statement from his investment company. The offer was final and would close on Apr 25, the statement said.

The company's shares were trading 1.9 per cent higher at S$1.38 at 0434 GMT, having slid to a five-year low in January. According to Thomson Reuters data, firms including Templeton Asset Management and Norges Bank Investment Management held stakes in OSIM as of December.

With the city-state's nearly 300 small- and micro-cap companies currently trading on average at half the valuations of Asia-Pacific peers, founders of several firms have lined up plans to take the companies private, analysts say. But minority investors are increasingly demanding bigger premiums to the depressed market valuations of targets.

Some traders had previously predicted an improved offer for OSIM as the shares were changing hands above the original bid price. Analysts at brokerage DBS Vickers Securities had speculated Mr Sim might need to increase his price by at least 14 per cent to win shareholders' approval.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Source: Reuters

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