Ekovests gets IWH nod for IWCity takeover

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 29, 2017.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Ekovest Bhd's takeover bid of Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) has received the green light from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH), which owns a 38.35% stake in IWCity.

The takeover was proposed by the three companies’ common shareholder, tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, on Oct 31.

IWH also gave its consent for Ekovest to take IWCity private should the latter intend to after the takeover exercise — which pundits have deduced was Lim’s main objective following the failed merger between IWH and IWCity previously.

Lim and persons acting in concert own 63% of IWH; the rest is held by Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd. Lim also has a 32.38% stake in Ekovest.

In a filing yesterday, Ekovest said it had received a letter of undertaking from IWH dated Nov 27, 2017 in relation to the share acquisition proposal.

“IWH undertakes that, inter alia, it shall not accept the offer to be made by Ekovest under the proposed acquisition and it will consent to an application for the delisting of IWC, if any, made by Ekovest.

“Further to that, as announced on Oct 31, 2017, all relevant parties will use their best endeavours and efforts to negotiate in good faith documentation and arrangements in relation to the proposed acquisition on or before Nov 30, 2017,” Ekovest added.

Following the acceptance of IWH’s letter, Ekovest said it has established a due diligence working group for the relevant documentation and arrangements, as well as due diligence matters for the proposal.

Under the share acquisition offer — first announced on Oct 31 — Ekovest would buy the remaining 61.65% stake in IWCity not held by IWH through either a cash consideration of RM1.50 per share, or a one-for-one share swap deal. The deal values IWCity at RM1.25 billion.

IWCity shares slid one sen or 0.8% to close at RM1.24 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.04 billion. The counter has lost 11.43% from its Oct 31 closing price of RM1.40.