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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani


Channel NewsAsia



Ezyhealth to acquire palm oil business in S$1.29b reverse takeover
23/12/05 (Channel NewsAsia)  - Mainboard-listed Ezyhealth has signed a deal to buy a sizeable palm oil business from Wilmar Holdings in a S$1.29 billion reverse takeover.

Under the agreement, the managed healthcare and healthcare diagnostics services provider will pay for Wilmar's agri-business by issuing 21.5 billion of new Ezyhealth shares at 6 cents a share.

This is a premium of 50 percent over Thursday's closing price of 4 cents.

Once the transaction is completed Wilmar will own 98.8 percent of Ezyhealth.

To fulfil regulatory requirements that at least 12 percent of the issued share capital must be in the hands of at least 1,000 minority shareholders, Ezyhealth will place out new and/or vendor shares.

As part of the move, Ezyhealth shares will also be consolidated on the basis of 10 shares into one share.

Ezyhealth will be renamed Wilmar International.

The company also announced that it will also be selling off its existing healthcare business to a company owned by present CEO Sin Keng Choo for S$5 million.

Wilmar's palm oil business had a turnover of US$5 billion for its financial year ended 2004.

Net profit amounted to US$60 million.

Wilmar is headquartered in Singapore but has sizeable oil palm plantations and processing mills in Indonesia.

It is one of the world's largest edible oil refiners and one of Asia's largest oilseed crushers.

Wilmar is linked to Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok.

Its co-founder, chairman and chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong is a nephew of Robert Kuok's.

The company also has shareholders from the US and China.

Wilmar International has plans to move into the bio-energy field to tap the fast-growing market for clean fuels.

Wilmar Holdings and Archer Daniels had in October announced plans to build a bio-diesel plant in Singapore that will use palm oil and other renewable sources of energy as feedstock. - CNA/ch