UOL plans to unlock value for shareholders

  • Business
  • Thursday, 27 May 2004

SINGAPORE: Singapore's United Overseas Land Ltd, a takeover target, said it plans to look into ways to unlock value for its shareholders, even as an offer to buy a stake in it remains on the table until Friday. 

UOL is a 49% associate of Singapore's second-largest lender United Overseas Bank (UOB), controlled by veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw. 

State investment firm Temasek Holdings Ltd made an unsolicited S$780mil (US$454mil), or S$2.26 per share, bid for UOB's stake in UOL, which investment banking sources said is likely to be rejected. 

“It looks like Wee is buying time. He's likely to reject the offer,” an investment banker said. 

Temasek's offer – its second attempt – is valid until 5pm tomorrow. Its first offer expired on May 11 after UOB deemed it too low. 

Following UOL's move, Temasek spokeswoman Eva Ho said: “We note the announcement and we are still waiting for UOB's response to our offer. 

UOL said in a statement it would announce the appointment of a financial adviser for the plan soon. 

The Singapore bank needs to sell its 49% stake in UOL, along with the bank's other non-financial businesses, by 2006 to comply with regulatory requirements. –Reuters  

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