CEO Morning Brief

Great Eastern Taps EY to Opine on OCBC’s S$1.4b Offer — Bloomberg

Publish date: Fri, 24 May 2024, 10:39 PM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(May 23): Great Eastern Holdings Ltd appointed EY as an independent financial adviser for the S$1.4 billion (RM4.88 billion) offer from Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) to buy the remaining stake the lender does not currently own, according to people familiar with the matter.

EY will assess the merits of OCBC’s offer for the Singapore-based insurance firm, and give an opinion to the firm’s board of directors, the people said, asking not to be identified, as the appointment is not yet public. OCBC holds more than 88% of Great Eastern, one of the largest insurers in the city state, and moved to take full control earlier this month.

“We will be issuing a statement on this matter in due course,” a Great Eastern spokesperson said in response to queries from Bloomberg News. EY declined to comment.

The opinion of the independent financial adviser (IFA) for this deal would be under scrutiny, given that this is the third time OCBC is trying to take the insurer private amid some opposing minority shareholders. The Great Eastern board has to publish the IFA opinion to the company’s shareholders, so that they can make an informed decision on the offer.

OCBC, Southeast Asia’s second-largest bank, made offers over the years to increase its stake in Great Eastern, first in 2004, followed by 2006.

For both past attempts by OCBC, Morgan Stanley had advised Great Eastern. In 2004, the US bank said that OCBC’s offer was adequate but not compelling.

Source: TheEdge - 24 May 2024

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