Elizabeth Sam accepts general offer

PHOTO: Elizabeth Sam accepts general offer
Mr Cheong had earlier said he was not planning to revise his takeover bid.

AN INDEPENDENT director of SC Global gave up making $100,000 or more by taking up chief executive Simon Cheong's offer for her shares instead of offloading them on the open market.

Mrs Elizabeth Sam accepted Mr Cheong's offer of $1.80 a share for her shares in the upmarket developer.

Mrs Sam, who held 552,974 SC Global shares, will collect $995,353, after the offer closes. The acceptance was disclosed on the Singapore Exchange website late on Wednesday.

SC Global shares hit a high of $2.05 on Dec 17, 12 days after Mr Cheong announced that he wanted to take the developer private by buying up all the shares that he did not already own.

The shares traded around the $2 range over several trading sessions on hefty volumes. Assuming she could fetch $2 per share for her stake, it would have yielded her an additional $110,000 than what she stands to get now.

Although the price of the shares have since retreated from that high, they have remained above $1.80. They rose two cents higher to close at $1.84 yesterday.

Mrs Sam has been on SC Global's board since July 2002.

According to the firm's 2011 annual report, she chairs the audit committee, is acting chairman of the remuneration committee, and a member of the nomination committee. She is also a non-executive director of the group's subsidiary in Australia, AVJennings.

When asked by The Straits Times why she chose to sell her shares at Mr Cheong's offer price, she would only say: "It is in line with the recommendation made by the IFA (independent financial adviser)."

Mrs Sam (above) said her decisions was in line with the recommendation made by advisers PrimePartners.

PrimePartners Corporate Finance, the advisers appointed by SC Global, recommended last Thursday that shareholders accept Mr Cheong's buyout offer, which values the firm at $745 million.

"We are of the opinion that, on balance, the financial terms of the offer are fair and reasonable and are not prejudicial to the interests of minority shareholders," PrimePartners wrote in a statement.

The advisers noted that after SC Global had released its third-quarter results in November, two analysts had given the stock an average target price of $1.14.

Mr Cheong's offer of $1.80 represents a premium of about 57.9 per cent to this.

PrimePartners added that SC Global shares had not traded at or above $1.80 since Dec 1, 2010, until Mr Cheong made his offer.

Mr Cheong said in his privatisation offer that a listing was making little sense given that SC Global had not raised funds from the capital markets for six years and that few of its shares were traded each day.

However substantial shareholder Wheelock Properties is likely to be the spanner in the works. It has been increasing its stake in the company and buying at prices above Mr Cheong's offer price.

On Wednesday, it bought 2.098 million shares at between $1.815 and $1.82, raising its stake to 16.6 per cent.

Mr Cheong had earlier said on Sunday that he was not planning to revise his takeover bid, quashing rumours that he would do so after shares of the company shot up.

Mr Cheong has now garnered acceptances to bring his control of SC Global to nearly 64 per cent.

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