Will VARD minority shareholders turn up in force to stop the company’s delisting?

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SINGAPORE (April 27): S Nallakaruppan owns 220,800 shares in shipbuilder VARD Holdings and plans to vote against the resolution to delist the company at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for April 30. But he knows there is very little chance of blocking the resolution.

As at April 25, Fincantieri Oil & Gas, the controlling shareholder of VARD, had already amassed 982.7 million shares in the company, representing an 83.28% stake, which is more than the 75% required to pass the resolution. And, the Singapore Exchange says it has “no objection” to the delisting proposal. The only way the resolution can be blocked now is if shares representing at least a 10% stake in VARD vote against it. That is equivalent to 118 million shares. The two largest registered shareholders of VARD after Fincantieri O&G are MVN Asset Management and Third Avenue Management, which hold 30 million shares (2.54% stake) and 14.3 million shares (1.21% stake) respectively.

“[Fincantieri O&G] knows there is no way we can gather 118 million shares. A lot of the shares are in CPF. It is cumbersome for them to vote. They know all these issues,” Nallakaruppan tells The Edge Singapore over the phone. But that has not stopped individual investors like him from seeking out one another and working together to make their plight known in the hope of getting the authorities to look into the process of privatisations and delistings. “We just want to tug [at] the heartstrings of the people. Is this really fair to the minority shareholders? It is not fair play... (Click here to read the full story)