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Billionaire Wee’s UIC to Buy Remaining Singapore Land Stock

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Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- United Industrial Corp., part-owned by Singapore’s richest man Wee Cho Yaw, is offering S$762 million ($601 million) for the remaining 20 percent of Singapore Land Ltd. it doesn’t own to take the company private.

United Industrial, or UIC, will pay S$9.40 for each stock in Singapore Land, one of the city’s biggest office landlords, according to a filing to the Singapore stock exchange today. That’s an 11 percent premium over the closing price on Feb. 19, the last trading day before the stock suspended.

The transaction adds to a list of real estate related companies taken private by their biggest shareholders in the past 18 months, including SC Global Developments Ltd. and Pan Pacific Hotels Group Ltd. UIC said delisting Singapore Land will help manage it more effectively.

“UIC believes that privatizing the company will give the UIC Group and the management of the company more flexibility to manage the business of the Group and optimize the use of its management and capital resources,” the company said in the statement.

Singapore Land shares had their biggest gain in almost a decade, surging 11 percent to close at S$9.42. UIC climbed 5.4 percent to S$3.11, closing at its highest since Oct. 14.

Before the two stocks were halted, about 136,000 Singapore Land shares were traded on Feb. 19, five times more than the three-month average volume. The stock climbed 3.7 percent that day, the most in 14 months.

UIC also said the offer allows Singapore Land shareholders to sell their shares easily because of “generally low trading liquidity” in the stock.

UIC, whose chairman is Wee, currently owns or controls 331 million share in Singapore Land, according to the statement. Wee has a net worth of $7.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Klaus Wille in Singapore at kwille@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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