CFA Society Singapore
SINGAPORE (July 17): Datapulse Technology, the optical disc manufacturer which was chided by Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) for buying a shampoo business without proper due diligence, is diversifying into the hospitality industry.
In a Monday night filing, Datapulse announced it had entered into a non-binding letter of intent with ICP to acquire MHI MY 1, a joint-venture company which owns the mid-scale Geo Hotel Kuala Lumpur and has a paid-up share capital of $1,500.
The hotel will debut as Travelodge Central Market, Kuala Lumpur, after undergoing a refurbishment programme, added Datapulse.
“The proposed acquisition is part of the company’s efforts to diversify its core business operations into the hospitality industry, specifically in relation to the business of hotel ownership, which the company believes would have strong potential for growth,” says Datapulse in its filing.
In 2013, Datapulse had obtained a mandate from its shareholders to allow the company to be involved in business comprising property development, investment and trading business.
In a Feb 23 notice of compliance, SGX RegCo had questioned the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of Malaysia-based haircare products company Wayco and ordered the appointment of an independent reviewer to look at the deal, scrutinise the company’s internal processes and recommend improvement.
The $3.43 million transaction was completed just four days after new controlling shareholder Ng Siew Hong and four new directors were appointed to the board on Dec 11. In addition, Wayco’s seller, Ang Kong Meng, was reportedly a close business associate of Ng.
On April 4, SGX RegCo issued a second notice of compliance, requiring Datapulse to appoint a new independent reviewer after its original choice of law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP was deemed to have a conflict of interest. Datapulse’s new chairman Low Beng Tin is the founder of another listed company, OEL Holdings, and had been its executive director until 2016. The Catalist-listed company’s sponsor is RHT Capital, which is affiliated to the law firm.
Shares in Datapulse last traded at 28 cents.