M'sian tycoon Kuok ups stake in Shangri-La Hotels, raising possibility of general offer (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: Robert Kuok, Malaysia's richest man according to Forbes, has increased his equity stake in locally listed Shangri-La Hotels (Malaysia) Bhd, according to stock exchange filings late on Monday.

The luxury hotels chain said Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, a family investment vehicle of Kuok, bought a 22.2 percent stake or 98 million shares in Shangri-La from Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd on March 20.

The purchase raised Kuok's interest, via Kuok Brothers and Hong Kong-listed Shangri-La Asia Ltd, in Shangri-La to 74.98 percent from 52.78 percent, raising the possibility of an offer for the outstanding shares.

Southeast Asia has seen a series of management buyouts in recent months, including deals in Singapore for miner Skari Resources Ltd and Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd .

The price for the transaction was not disclosed.

Shares of Shangri-La opened 3.92 ringgit per share on March 20 and ended that day at 4.11 ringgit, for a gain of nearly 5 percent and giving the company a market value of about 1.9 billion ringgit ($613 million).

The stock rose 1 percent on Tuesday to 4.24 ringgit per share, while the benchmark stock index rose 0.6 percent. On Monday, the shares rose as high as 4.30 ringgit, a four-month high. ($1 = 3.0980 Malaysian ringgit) - Reuters

Earlier report

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd has bought some 98 million shares, or 22.28% stake in Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd via a direct business transaction.

Kuok Brothers entered into a share purchase agreement with Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd on March 20 for the purchase.

The price transacted for the stake was undisclosed.

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