WSP sweet­ens of­fer for UEM Ed­genta’s stake in Opus

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - News -

PETALING JAYA: New Zealand-based Opus In­ter­na­tional Con­sul­tancy Ltd (Opus) share­hold­ers will re­ceive a higher of­fer of NZ$1.92 per share af­ter it was al­lowed to de­clare higher div­i­dends.

WSP Global Inc had of­fered NZ$1.78 for UEM Ed­genta Bhd’s 61.2% stake in Opus un­der the takeover of­fer an­nounced on Aug 30.

The NZ$1.78 ex­cluded a div­i­dend of five cents which WSP Group had ear­lier al­lowed Opus to de­clare, that raises the of­fer to NZ$1.85.

With the lat­est de­vel­op­ment, WSP al­lowed Opus to de­clare an ad­di­tional seven cents as div­i­dend, rais­ing the takeover to NZ$1.92.

Based on 90.51 mil­lion Opus shares held by UEM Ed­genta, it will re­ceive NZ$173.8mil or about RM543.7mil com­pared with the ear­lier NZ$167.44mil (RM512.48mil) of­fer.

“This in­crease to WSP’s of­fer price means that if Opus share­hold­ers ac­cept the of­fer, they will re­ceive NZ$1.92 per share – com­pris­ing 14 cents per share in div­i­dends to be paid by Opus, to­gether with NZ$1.78 per share paid by WSP,” it said.

UEM Ed­genta an­nounced to Bursa Malaysia on Sept 5 the pro­posed dis­posal of Opus was an op­por­tu­nity for the for­mer to mon­e­tise its in­vest­ment up­front at a healthy pre­mium over the cur­rent mar­ket price and will en­able the com­pany to re­duce its gross gear­ing from 0.8 times (post draw­down of sukuk of RM300mil in April 2017) to 0.4 times.

Opus is a lead­ing multi-dis­ci­plinary in­fra­struc­ture con­sul­tancy. It pro­vides ser­vices on lead­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects for both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors.

As for WSP Group, it pro­vides tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and strate­gic ad­vice to clients in the prop­erty & build­ings, trans­porta­tion & in­fra­struc­ture, en­vi­ron­ment, in­dus­try, re­sources (in­clud­ing min­ing and oil & gas) and power & en­ergy sec­tors.

Opus’ in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors had also rec­om­mended share­hold­ers ac­cept the of­feror’s in­creased of­fer.

They added they in­tended to ac­cept the in­creased of­fer for the shares that they hold or con­trol.

WSP has also en­tered into ad­di­tional lockup agree­ments with three in­sti­tu­tional share­hold­ers of Opus -- Ac­ci­dent Com­pen­sa­tion Cor­po­ra­tion, Salt Funds Man­age­ment Ltd and Aspir­ing As­set Man­age­ment Ltd – to sell all their Opus shares.

This brings the to­tal of Opus shares un­der lock-up agree­ments, in­clud­ing those held by UEM Ed­genta to 70.55%.

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