SINGAPORE Jan 30 Singapore's United Engineers
Ltd said it will launch a rival bid for WBL Corp Ltd
, topping an earlier offer from Straits Tradings Co Ltd
and valuing the auto and property conglomerate at
around $890 million.
United Engineers has offered to buy the remaining 61.7
percent of WBL Corp Ltd that it and its partners do
not own for S$670.4 million ($540 million), bidding S$4.00 per
share in its all-cash offer.
Straits Trading, which owns a stake of almost 45 percent in
WBL, has offered to buy the rest of WBL shares for S$3.41 in
cash, before dividends, or for 1.07 Straits Trading shares.
Shares in WBL, which also has technology, engineering and
distribution businesses, last traded at S$4.20 on Wednesday amid
speculation of a bidding war.
WBL's sizeable China property portfolio would allow United
Engineers to diversify beyond Singapore, United Engineers Chief
Executive Jackson Yap said in a statement.
He added that WBL's automotive division would create a new
source of recurring income to offset the fluctuations in
A battle for WBL would come amid increased M&A activity in
Singapore, particularly in the property sector as many real
estate companies are trading at a discount to their revised net
Earlier this month, the chairman of SC Global Developments
Ltd, Simon Cheong, gained control of more than 90
percent of the property developer, paving the way for him to
privatise the company.
United Engineers is being advised by JP Morgan,
while Straits Trading's adviser is Standard Chartered