Chinese actress Vicky Zhao Wei may have emerged as a new substantial shareholder of Aussino Group. One Miss Zhao Wei paid $1.14 million, or nine cents apiece, for the 5% stake or 12.63 million new shares, according to a filing dated Aug 24. Proceeds of the placement would go to fund an upcoming marketing campaign in China aimed at making the brand “more visible and appealing to the public”.
“The placee [Zhao] has expressed interest in a long-term investment in Aussino as she is familiar with the Aussino brand in China and Singapore,” Aussino’s chairman Anthony Lim Kuang Leong said in a separate statement dated Aug 16, which only identified Zhao’s spouse as a 50% partner in a restaurant business with him.
Aussino’s CEO and Anthony’s son, Jonathan Lim Hua Lang, had yet to reply to an email seeking confirmation of the identity of the new substantial shareholder as The Edge Singapore went to print. The 34-year old actress from China’s Anhui province has a commercials contract for Aussino’s bedding business, an unofficial fan website says. Zhao, who reportedly became a Singapore permanent resident after marrying businessman Huang You Long, 31, signed on as a spokesperson for Aussino this year, according to her profile on the IMDB.com website.
A three-year moratorium has been imposed on the 5% tranche, according to an earlier statement dated Aug 6. The subscription price was 5.88% above the stock’s volume weighted average price of 8.5 cents on Aug 2, the day before the subscription agreement was signed. The placement dilutes the company’s audited net tangible asset per share of 18.3 cents as at June 30, 2009 to 17.39 cents, and loss per share from 1.07 cents to 1.02 cents. Aussino closed at eight cents last Tuesday.
The group designs, distributes, retails and is a wholesaler of Aussino home-fashion products and accessories, as well as ladies’ fashion apparel under the Sino London brand. Anthony Lim, who is still the controlling shareholder, saw his holdings diluted to 68.22% from 71.82% following the placement.
Elsewhere, Vallianz Holdings’ acting CEO Jonathan Lim Keng Hock disposed of 13 million shares at 23.78 cents apiece in the open market on Aug 27. This pared his direct holdings to 26.88 million shares, or 4.52%, from 6.71%. He is deemed interested in a 34.24% stake held by his spouse Marilyn Ting Hong Lean.
Formerly Enzer Corp, an electronics components distributor, Vallianz raised $6.3 million via a rights issue priced at 3.75 cents apiece in January and recently expanded its core business to include ship owning, chartering and brokering. In June, Vallianz agreed to buy Samson Oceanic from offshore logistics services provider Swiber Holdings for some $6.6 million using new shares issued at 3.75 cents apiece, and agreed to take over $3 million worth of loans taken to buy a vessel.
The deal gave Swiber 171.77 million shares or 28.91% of Vallianz, which proceeded to attain shareholders’ approval to change its name and core business on July 5. On Aug 10, the company said it agreed to pay US$974,400 ($1.31 million) for 30% of A3 Offshore LLC, which owns and charters ships.
Vallianz closed at 20 cents on Sept 1, a fivefold increase from four cents in early August. The company was queried by the Singapore Exchange on Aug 18 for an unusual spike in trading activity and share price. The company is not aware of any material information that could possibly explain the unusual trading, Vallianz’s Lim replied.
On Aug 23, the company said it will “continue to monitor the situation” for its retail electronic products distribution business, which “continues to face challenges in terms of a sharp decline in the consumption of its home electronics product”.
Over at Scintronix Corp, chairman Tan Kee Liang raised his holdings from 25.47% to 28.59%, or 89 million shares, after buying 9.7 million shares on Aug 26 and 27, separate filings showed. The company, which manufactures precision engineered plastic components, on Aug 24 announced plans to raise $2.4 million by placing out 26.67 million shares at nine cents apiece to six investors. The tranche represents 7.89% of the company’s share base, which will be enlarged from 311.33 million shares to 338 million shares. The placement will dilute its net tangible asset of 9.24 cents as at June 30 to 9.22 cents, and cut gearing to 0.552 times from 0.61 times, the company said. Scintronix closed at 8.5 cents last Wednesday.
Scintronix, which expects the business environment for the plastics industry to remain challenging over the next 12 months, said it will “step up [its] effort to further expand into the automotive and electronic segment”.
It made a $2.44 million net profit for FY ended June 30 compared with a $5.47 million net loss previously. This was on the back of a 13% y-o-y growth in revenue to $28.58 million. The improvement was largely due to a $7.3 million decrease in operating expenses that resulted from a baddebt provision as well as asset-impairment losses.