Kian Joo extends business sale to Aspire for another six months

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KUALA LUMPUR: Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd announced that it has mutually agreed with Aspire Insight Sdn Bhd to extend the completion of the disposal of its entire business to the latter by another six months to Sept 23, 2015.

“On behalf of the board of directors of Kian Joo (fundamental: 1.0; valuation: 0.6), MIDF Investment Bank Bhd wishes to announce that Kian Joo and Aspire have agreed to extend the date on which all conditions precedent to the BSA [business sale agreement] should be fulfilled from March 23, 2015 to Sept 23, 2015,” Kian Joo said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

This is the second extension — the agreement was executed in March 2014 and was supposed to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014 but was extended until March 23, 2015.

To recap, Aspire had on Nov 23, 2013 announced that it intended to acquire Kian Joo’s entire business, including all its assets and liabilities, for RM1.466 billion or RM3.30 per share. 

Then on March 24 last year, Kian Joo said it had entered into the BSA with Aspire for the disposal. In the same announcement, it promised to distribute not less than RM3.30 per share from the proceeds of the sale to all entitled shareholders, in cash.

However, Kian Joo's executive director Datuk Anthony See Teow Guan, who holds 1.63% in Kian Joo, opposed the deal. See's father founded Kian Joo some 40 years ago.

He claimed that the takeover deal should be deemed a related party transaction because of the connections between Kian Joo's managing director Yeoh Jin Hoe, who is also the controling shareholder of Can-One Bhd, and former Can-One's chief operating officer Chee Khay Leong and Can-One, which is the single largest shareholder of Kian Joo holding 32.9% stake. 

Chee, who is still the executive director of Kian Joo, resigned from his post in Can-One a few days before Aspire annouced the takeover offer. 

Hence, See is of the view that Can-One should be prevented from voting on the takeover offer. 

Consequently, the sale of Kian Joo to Aspire, now mired in a series of legal suits, has since stalled.  

Aspire is a 60:40 joint-venture between Chee, via Alleyways Sdn Bhd, and the Employees Provident Fund via Ekuiti Merdu Sdn Bhd. 

Kian Joo closed unchanged at RM3.01 today, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.34 billion.

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