OSIM's chairman plans to take over company

SINGAPORE - The founder of Singaporean massage chair maker OSIM International on Monday offered to pay more than S$300 million (US$218 million) to buy out minority shareholders in the company, taking advantage of weak valuations in a tough market.

OSIM chairman and CEO Ron Sim, who holds about 68 per cent of the company, is proposing to take over the firm after its shares fell to the lowest in five years in January, hit by weak business performance. The shares have since partly recovered.

"The offer provides an opportunity to OSIM's minority shareholders to sell their stake at a significant premium over the prevailing share price amidst challenging market conditions," Sim's holding company said in a statement as it launched a voluntary cash offer of S$1.32 per share.

Sim plans to delist the company.

OSIM, which was founded more than three decades ago, is the latest among a growing number of Singapore companies which are going private as valuations take a beating.

Trading in OSIM shares was halted on March 1 after they jumped 10.4 per cent to S$1.225. Credit Suisse is the financial adviser to Sim and Morgan Lewis Stamford is his legal adviser.