A Keppel Corp company, Keppel Pegasus, has launched arbitration proceedings against Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) in relation to the former’s acquisition bid for the latter. The arbitration comes after SPH informed Keppel Pegasus that it plans to consult with the Securities Industry Council (SIC), the regulator for mergers and acquisitions, about terminating an August 2, 2021 agreement related to the acquisition. In an exchange filing, Keppel said that it “does not agree with SPH’s attempted purported termination of the Keppel implementation agreement”. Separately, SPH responded via an exchange filing stating that the Keppel scheme’s cut-off date of February 2 has “come and passed, and not all of the scheme conditions set out… in the Keppel implementation agreement have been satisfied, nor has the Keppel scheme become effective in accordance with its terms”. The termination of the Keppel scheme will allow SPH shareholders to vote on the competing acquisition offer from Cuscaden Peak, a consortium consisting of Hotel Properties, business man Ong Beng Seng and Temasek-linked CLA and Mapletree. SPH added that Cuscaden’s offer has remained superior to that of Keppel and that it “will continue with its preparations to allow shareholders to consider and vote on the Cuscaden scheme.”

Keppel’s SGD 2.9% Perps are trading at 97.55 yielding 3.91% while SPH’s SGD 4.5% Perps are at 100.72 yielding 4.17%.

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