Switzerland-based Kuoni Travel is dropping its bid for Et-China.com International Holdings Ltd because not all of the conditions for the scheme of arrangement have been met and shareholders face the possibility of the company losing its Aim quotation.
The 115p a share bid was three times the market price at the time and it valued Et-China at £56m.The bid was extended in September because certain conditions had not been satisfied “due to legal and regulatory issues that have been raised in connection with a certain part of the company’s business”.
Shares in Et-China were suspended at 103.5p each on 1 July because it had not published its interim figures. If the figures are not published then Et-China is likely to have its quotation cancelled at the beginning of 2011 when the six month suspension period is up.
In November, Et-China’s chief executive Matthew Ng was detained by Guangzhou police as part of their investigations into the crime of misappropriation of company assets. No news has been released since then. Non-executive director Chris Rose became acting chief executive.
Kuoni still owns 28% of Et-China.
The bid does not come under the Takeover Panel’s rules because it is outside of its jurisdiction because Et-China is registered in Jersey.
Download the December edition of AIM Journal at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFDecember2010_15.pdf
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