arvodaya-owned licensed finance company, Deshodaya Development Finance Company Limited (DDFC) said yesterday that they would acquire 75 percent stake of George Steuart Finance PLC (GSF) controlled by the high net worth investor Dilith Jayaweera for a consideration of Rs.375 million.
According to sources close to the deal, DDFC will pay the purchase consideration in cash and the acquisition is to take place within a month’s time.
To this effect, DDFC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the two principle shareholders of GSF - George Steuart & Company Limited and Capital Trust Holdings Limited – who owns 51 percent and 24.984 percent of the company respectively.
George Steuart & Company Limited is a unit of George Steuart Group of which Jayaweera is the Chairman.
The third largest shareholder of the company is the incumbent Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa who owns 5 percent stake as at March 31,2014.
According to a stock exchange filing by GSF, the acquisition is carried out under the Central Bank’s financial sector consolidation drive and the monetary board is yet to approve the acquisition.
Interestingly, GSF’s share has been valued at Rs.22.22, bringing the total value to Rs.500 million when its net asset per share is just Rs.14.89 as at March 31,2014.
At the height of the alleged market manipulation in the Colombo bourse, GSF share hit an all time high of Rs. 1,500 on September 19,2012 in an artificially inflated market.
However the share came down to Rs.1,000 the following day.
By the end of 2012, GSF share fell to Rs.600 levels and further to below Rs.500, a year later after market correction.
On April 23,2014 GSF share hit an all time low of Rs.30 but recovered to Rs. 80.10 two days later.
The share traded between Rs.43.90 and Rs.50.40 yesterday before closing at Rs.45.90 with a market capitalization of little over Rs.1.0 billion.
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