Review rules on takeovers and privatisations in Singapore

PUBLISHED JUNE 03, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Review rules on takeovers and privatisations

MICHAEL Dee has written two very good analyses on the recent takeover offer for CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) by Capitaland (CL): “CMA shareholders should stand their ground against ‘fair offer'” in BT of April 22 and “Offer for CMA is still undervalued” in BT of May 29. All his points are very pertinent and can be equally applied to other recent takeover attempts, including that of LCD Global Investments (LCD) by RDL Investments (RDL).

It is the minorities who are greatly impacted by all these takeover attempts, and they have to protect their own interests. They have to let their voices be heard and not leave it to others to speak up for their rights. They should be wary of the advice of the “independent directors” who invariably follow the advice of the “independent financial advisors” (IFA), the independence of which may need to be questioned.

The Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (SIAS), being the watchdog for retail investors, should fight for a higher offer price for them. It should maintain a neutral stand and not advise retail investors to either accept or reject a takeover offer. Besides, SIAS does not hold a financial advisor licence, and is in no position to offer financial advice.

The same “conflict of interest” issue cited by Mr Dee in CL’s takeover for CMA also resurfaces in RDL’s takeover of LCD, as the two major shareholders of RDL are also majority shareholders of LCD. This is also manifested in other recent takeover attempts of other listed companies.

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About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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