Straits Trading Accepts Higher Takeover Bid for Car Dealer WBL

Straits Trading Co. (STRTR), the single-biggest shareholder of WBL (WBL) Corp., said it accepted United Engineers (UEM) Ltd.’s new bid for the Bugatti dealer after it was raised by 8.4 percent.

United Engineers made a final bid of S$4.50 a share for WBL on May 9, increasing it one month after a financial adviser to the Singapore-based car distributor said the previous offer wasn’t fair.

Straits Trading’s “decision removes any uncertainties on the future direction for WBL,” the company said in a statement today.

The revised bid values WBL, which also owns the Jaguar dealerships, at S$1.25 billion ($1 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations. United Engineers, which had offered to pay S$4.15 a share in cash on March 12, said it won’t be extending after the latest closing date of May 29.

Straits Trading holds a 44.58 percent stake in WBL, according to the company’s news release.

KPMG Corporate Finance Pte, a financial adviser to WBL’s independent directors, said on April 10 that United Engineers’ earlier S$4.15-a-share offer is “not fair,” based on a review of the financial terms.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Linus Chua at

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