Rapid Synergy moves from Shangri-La to HLCap

PETALING JAYA: Semiconductor firm RAPID SYNERGY BHD has divested its stake in Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd and bought into Hong Leong Capital Bhd (HLCap) for RM12.67mil.

Rapid Synergy is controlled by doctor-turned-entrepreneur Datuk Dr Yu Kuan Chon who shot into the limelight last year when he blocked the privatisation of HLCap via his strategic shareholding in the investment banking and financial services company.

Rapid Synergy told Bursa Malaysia that it disposed of its 2.035 million shares in Shangri-La, “resulting in an estimated gain of RM2,600 derived from the proceeds of RM7mil against RM14.65mil, which is the total cost of investment in Shangri-La as at Dec 2”.

Rapid Synergy said the disposal was a good opportunity for it to unlock and realise the value of the investment and to reallocate the resources.

In a separate filing yesterday, Rapid Synergy said the investment in HLCap accounted for 923,800 shares, or 0.37% equity interest in HLCap, based on its total share capital of 246.896 million.

According to the company, the RM12.67mil investment was made in the ordinary course of Rapid Synergy’s business and is consistent with its long-term intention of deploying capital into suitable quoted investment opportunities that could enhance shareholder value in the long term.

On Wednesday, HLCap, which is saddled with its inability to meet the public free float since March last year, had asked the stock exchange to allow it to maintain a lower spread than the minimum 25%.

This is the first time in recent years that a company has sought approval from the exchange to have a lower public shareholding spread than the amount required under the stock exchange’s listing rules. The public shareholding spread of HLCap as at Nov 5 stood at 18.67%.

HLCap’s public shareholding spread predicament came about after a failed privatisation attempt of the company by its major shareholder, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, in January last year. The offer at RM1.71 per share, which is one time book value, was deemed as unattractive to the minority shareholders.

Since March last year, there have been several occasions when the public spread stood at less than 10%, but Yu managed to sell down his stake to meet the requirement. According to Bursa filings, Yu held a 4.77% stake in HLCap as at Aug 27.


Across The Star Online