On April 5, Chwee Cheng & Sons Pte Ltd became a substantial shareholder of newly-listed TTJ Holdings, after it bought 12.4 million shares in the structural-steel supplier on the open market via its wholly-owned unit TH Investments Pte Ltd. This increased its stake to 8.32% from 4.77%.
Chwee Cheng & Sons was set up by Ng Chwee Cheng, the founder of Tat Hong Holdings, one of the largest crane companies in Asia-Pacific. Ng was ranked Singapore’s 30th richest man by Forbes Asia in 2009, with a net worth of US$250 million ($347 million). Ng has 14 children, including son Roland Ng San Tiong, who is the managing director of Tat Hong. Ng is a substantial shareholder of Tat Hong and also CSC Holdings, a foundation and geotechnical engineering company.
TTJ is one of two steel fabricators with fabrication facilities in Singapore and accredited with the highest Singapore Structural Steel Society grading of S1. Through its recent IPO, which was 2.2 times subscribed, TTJ raised net proceeds of $20.1 million, selling 110 million shares at 20 cents each.
On its first trading day of April 1, TTJ Holdings gained 5% to 21 cents, with 25.5 million shares changing hands.
Of the $20.1 million in net proceeds, the group plans to use $10 million to expand its strutting systems business, $4 million to construct a new fabrication facility in the Middle East and $1.6 million to further expand its on-site capabilities and resources in Malaysia. The remaining $4.5 million will go towards its working capital.
In its filing with the SGX on March 31, chairman and managing director Teo Hock Chwee said TTJ Holdings planned to establish a fabrication facility in the Middle East with a production capacity of 300 to 500 tonnes per month to better respond to the needs of its customers there.
Elsewhere, non-executive director Chia Quee Hock sold four million United Fiber System shares on the open market on March 31, reducing his stake to 0.16% from 0.28%.Chia has been a director of United Fiber System since 1997. He was appointed as the company’s deputy chairman in 2002 and was last re-elected to the board in April 2009.
On March 29, one of the group’s non-executive directors, Jaka Prasetya, stepped down from the board. In a filing with the SGX, the group said Prasetya had taken up full-time employment with a company outside the group and under the terms of his employment, he had to relinquish his outside directorships.
United Fiber System is a conglomerate with diverse businesses in forestry, production of market pulp and woodchips as well as construction and property development. For FY ended Dec 31, 2009 (FY2009), the group reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of US$55.1 million ($76.86 million), mainly caused by a fair-value loss on forest assets of US$55.7 million.
Poyry Forest Industry, the independent valuer of United Fiber System’s forest assets, had assumed higher operational costs owing to lower pulp log selling prices and a smaller harvest from its plantations.
United Fiber System is seeking clarification from Poyry on the various assumptions used. “We think the Poyry valuation is too conservative given the more positive market outlook,” the company said in its fullyear results filing with SGX on March 29. The fair value may be subjected to adjustment upon the finalisation of the Poyry report.
United Fiber System’s revenue rose 23% to US$139.9 million in FY2009 from US$113.8 million in FY2008. The company attributed the increase in revenue to the higher percentage of project completion, such as Buckley 18, Newton One and Meadows
Over at Top Global, independent director Dr Tan Kok Soon sold 5.5 million shares on the open market on April 7, reducing his direct stake to 0.51% from 0.75%. This is in addition to the two million shares he disposed of a day before.
Tan, who is a top cardiologist with Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore, has been steadily reducing his stake in Top Global after Oei Siu Hoa, also known as Sukmawati Widjaja, took over as the company’s executive director, executive chairman and CEO.
Widjaja, who is the chairman and CEO of Sinar Mas Capital Investments, is the mother of Hano Maeloa, one of the executive directors of Top Global. Widjaja holds 1.4 billion shares, or a 59.8% stake, in Top Global. On Jan 27, she made a mandatory unconditional cash offer to acquire the remaining Top Global shares she did not own at 1.2 cents each.
For FY2009, Top Global recorded a net profit of $1.3 million against a net loss of $7 million in FY2008.