Privatisation candidates: According the RHB, potential M&A candidates include UOB KayHian, UIC, Wheelock Properties, SMRT and Neratel.
UOB KayHian- An earlier wave of consolidation has left UOB KayHian as the only listed brokerage group in SGX. Bringing it within the bank’s fold would enable the enlarged group to cross-sell a broader suite of wealth management services to its clients.
UIC- UOL Group currently owns 44% of UIC, while Haw Par owns another 5%. Both Haw Par and UOL share a common shareholder in banking magnate Wee Cho Yaw.
Wheelock Properties- Parent Wheelock & Company, which owns 76% of its Singapore subsidiary, could choose to privatize Wheelock Properties and channel its excess cash to support its China expansion. Wheelock Properties currently sits on over $800m of cash and investment in financial securities.
SMRT- With impending changes in the financing framework for public transport infrastructure, bringing SMRT into private hands, ie Temasek Holdings, could facilitate the restructuring efforts and overcome commercial considerations as a listed
NeraTel- However, it is not because that their largest shareholders want to privatise them but rather due to the PE funds looking for exit given the long holding period. PGA Partners has held NeraTel for more than three years and may now look for buyer to take over this business.