Singapore court approves Temasek's buyout of SMRT

Singapore court approves Temasek's buyout of SMRT

SINGAPORE'S High Court has approved state investor Temasek Holdings' buyout of transport operator SMRT Corporation, bringing the delisting of a 16-year-old float one step closer to reality.

The last day of trading of blue-chip SMRT's shares will be Oct 18, while payout of the S$1.68 per share is expected to take place by Nov 1.

SMRT shareholders had voted on Sept 29 to let Temasek take SMRT private by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Said SMRT in a release after markets closed on Monday: "The Board wishes to announce that the Scheme has been sanctioned by the Court today.

"Subject to the satisfaction (or where applicable, waiver) of all the scheme conditions in accordance with the implementation agreement, the scheme shall become effective and binding upon the lodgement of the Court Order with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority)."

SMRT, which had its roots as a government agency, had gone public in July 2000.

Fifth Schedule entity Temasek, a 54 per cent shareholder, had launched the offer in July. This valued its offer for SMRT at about S$1.2 billion.

The offer process disallowed Temasek to vote on the offer on Sept 29. About 84.83 per cent, or 3,747, of the minority shareholders present and voting in person or by proxy at the scheme meeting voted in favour of Temasek's offer.

Shareholders also voted on the same day to let the government buy SMRT's rail operating assets under the New Rail Financing Framework for S$991 million before taxes, spread over three years. Thus, all future capital-expenditure obligations are transferred from SMRT to the Land Transport Authority, resulting in improved free cash flow.

This article was first published on October 17, 2016.
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