camila November 11, 2021

SINGAPORE – Shares of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) jumped on Thursday morning (Nov 11) amid heavy trading, after Keppel Corporation raised its offer price for the group to $2.351 per share in an escalating bidding war.

The counter, which resumed trading after a halt on Wednesday, was up 13 cents, or 6 per cent, to $2.29 as at 9.15am. Some 7.97 million shares changed hands, making it the most active stock by value and third-most heavily traded by volume on the Singapore bourse.

SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung said on Wednesday that the group is open to better offers after Keppel’s sweetened bid, which is 12 per cent higher than its original offer of $2.099 a share, and tops a rival bid from consortium Cuscaden Peak.

Keppel raised the cash component of its final offer by 20 cents to 86.8 cents per share.  The number of Keppel Reit and SPH Reit units remains the same under the revised offer, but their cumulative value rose by 5.2 cents a share due to improving market conditions.

Keppel Corp shares also resumed trading on Thursday, declining three cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $5.28, as at 9.15am.

Keppel Reit was trading down four cents, or 3.5 per cent, at $1.11, while SPH Reit slipped 2.5 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to 99.5 cents. The two real estate investment trusts (Reits) were also halted from trading on Wednesday.

Cuscaden made an all-cash offer of $2.10 per share two weeks ago. The consortium comprises Hotel Properties and its managing director Ong Beng Seng, as well as two Temasek-linked entities – CLA Real Estate and Mapletree Investments.

SPH shareholders had earlier voted in favour of transferring the group’s media operations to a company limited by guarantee.