YTL gets higher price for Jurong Cement stake

YTL gets higher price for Jurong Cement stake
Published: 18 February 2010

There has been a battle for control of Singapore-listed Jurong Cement Ltd (JCL) but in the end, YTL Cement Bhd managed to squeeze a higher price for its stake in the loss-making cement manufacturer.

“YTL Cement’s move to accept Holcim Singapore’s offer confirmed our argument that its earlier move (by YTL Cement) to counter offer was just to extract a better offer from Holcim Singapore,’’ RHB Research Institute said in a report yesterday.

YTL Cement told Bursa Malaysia last Friday that it had accepted a revised offer from Holcim for its 21.5% stake in JCL.

The whole saga for control of loss-making JCL came about after Holcim made its first offer in December last year to buy over the remaining shares it did not own in JCL for S$93.1mil, or S$2.10 per share.

YTL Cement responded on Jan 12 with an offer to buy certain assets belonging to JCL for S$50mil, after saying that Holcim’s initial offer to acquire JCL was too low. The offer was rejected by JCL on Jan 18.

On Jan 21, YTL Cement changed its strategy with a counter offer for Holcim’s 55.9% stake in JCL at an offer price of S$2.50 apiece. Holcim turned down the overture the same day.

Holcim revised its general offer to acquire JCL to S$2.50 per share in a notification dated Jan 28, which was subsequently accepted by YTL Cement on Jan 11, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The revised offer values YTL Cement’s stake at S$23.8mil.

RHB Research raised its earnings forecast for YTL Cement in the financial year ending June 30, 2010 (FY10) by 14.7% to RM263mil to reflect the gain of S$14.5mil (RM32.3mil) and six months worth of interest cost savings arising from the disposal.

The FY11 forecast, however, was adjusted by a marginal 0.2% to reflect the absence of JCL’s contribution (at associate level), which is more than offset by lower interest expense.