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Actis makes mandatory takeover offer for remaining GHL shares

Growth markets investor Actis has emerged as the new major shareholder of GHL System Bhd, following its acquisition of a 44.37 percent stake on March 31.

Its special-purpose vehicle Actis Stark had acquired the stake at US$67.23 million from Cycas, a unit of the PE firm Creador and GHL executive vice chairman Simon Loh’s investment vehicle Tobikiri Capital Ltd.

Following this deal, Creador which is owned by investor Brahmal Vausdevan will be exiting GHL as the firm sold its entire 28.3 percent stake to Actis while Simon Loh will remain as a substantial shareholder, retaining a 19.1 percent stake in the payment service provider.

The acquisition also triggered a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares in GHL Systems Berhad, at the price of MYR 1 per share.

“The offer is not conditional upon any minimum level of acceptances of the offer shares as the offeror and its persons acting in concert (PACs) already hold in aggregate more than 50 percent of the voting shares of the offer,” said an exchange filing by GHL.

Actis, in its takeover notice to GHL, also mentioned that it would delist GHL once it has owned more than 75 percent of the company’s stake.

Minority shareholders of the electronic service provider, however, have been advised to reject the mandatory takeover offer of MYR 1 per share.

Independent advisor AmInvestment Bank explained that the offer is neither fair nor reasonable, as it is at a 28.1 percent or 39 sen discount to the ascribed value of MYR1.39 per GHL share.

GHL chief executive officer Danny Leong, who took over the helm in November 2016, has also said that he believes the share price was undervalued as shareholders started the talks a few months back.

“The decision to transacts at MYR1 was solely agreed between the shareholder agreed between the shareholders at that time and not fixed yesterday or a few days earlier,” Leong said.

Separately, GHL announced that it would begin offering Alipay payment acceptance services to Malaysian in-stores merchants as well as online merchants.

GHL has been listed on Bursa Malaysia since 2003, it is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and provides integrated end-to-end payment services and solutions encompassing physical, mobile, and internet payments on a sale, rental or transactional basis.

Other than servicing the traditional banking and financial sector, the group also serves major telecommunications companies, retailers, and airlines in ASEAN.

The company manages more than 150,000 points of sale in ASEAN that enable credit card, debit card, prepaid contactless payment, loyalty, prepaid top-up and bill payment collection services. Its largest markets are Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork

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