April 22, 2014 10:27 am JST

Singapore-listed Transcu in reverse takeover by local construction company

TOMOMI KIKUCHI, Nikkei staff writer

SINGAPORE -- Singapore-listed biotech company Transcu Group announced Monday it had signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Singapore-based Straits Construction Group.

     Straits Construction is a private company, and therefore the transaction is expected to result in a reverse takeover. The biotech company has been losing money since 2009 and has been undergoing restructuring.

     The purchase price under consideration is between 325 million to 338 million Singapore dollars ($259 million to $270 million). Transcu will issue new ordinary shares at S$0.50 per share, which will represent no less than 79.89% of the enlarged share capital of Transcu. The proposed acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

     Transcu Group was established in Japan and is headquartered in Singapore. The company listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2008 through a reverse takeover of a local company. It is known for its pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, but has been restructuring to better focus on operations with more potential. For the fiscal year ended March 2013, the company recorded a loss of about $14.8 million.

     The company also announced Monday that it has entered into a separate agreement to dispose of its two pharmaceutical subsidiaries.

     Straits Construction is involved in public housing projects as well as private residential and commercial developments in Singapore. It made an entry into China in 2010 building residential apartments, a hotel, a golf resort and country club and other commercial projects.