PETALING JAYA: Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd rose 2.38% to a four-month high, as market speculation had it that it could be ripe for privatisation by Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, a family investment vehicle of Robert Kuok.
Although there has been no formal announcement, analysts raised the possibility of Shangri-La Malaysia being privatised based on the recent move by its major shareholder.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the hotelier has not been widely covered by analysts and the last report on Shangri-La Malaysia was issued two years ago.
“The combined stake controlled by the Kuoks is raising the possibility of an offer for the outstanding shares. The possibility is there,” an analyst said.
On Monday, Kuok Brothers acquired some 98 million shares, or 22.28% stake, in Shangri-La Malaysia via a direct business transaction with Standard Chartered Private Equity Ltd on March 20. The price was not disclosed.
Hong Kong-listed Shangri-La Asia Ltd, which is controlled by the Kuoks, has a 52.78% stake in Shangri-La Malaysia. Following the recent purchase, the Kuok Brothers have a total 75.06% stake in Shangri-La Malaysia.
Additionally, over the past weeks, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc has been acquiring shares in Shangri-La Malaysia. The fund manager had bought 16,200 shares on March 12, increasing its stake to 11.6%, or 51.02 million shares, in the hotelier.
On March 11, Aberdeen had bought 36,500 shares in Shangri-La Malaysia, which owns and operates its flagship 29-storey, 662-room hotel in Kuala Lumpur city. The hotelier also owns and operates various properties in Malaysia, including Traders Hotel Penang and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Penang.
Shares in Shangri-La Malaysia ended yesterday at RM4.30, 10 sen higher than Monday’s closing of RM4.20. Since the beginning of the month, Shangri-La Malaysia has gained some 60%, or RM1.59.
For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012, Shangri-La Malaysia posted a net profit of RM67.3mil on revenue of RM469.5mil.