A consortium of local and foreign investors yesterday purchased a significant stake in the property development and hospitality holding company Ascot Holdings PLC (Ascot), as the firm’s two largest shareholders exited.
The Mauritius-based company Eighth Wonder, the UK-based individuals Ian McVeigh and Archie Warman and Hayleys PLC Director and businessman Mohamed Hisham Jamaldeen in concert purchased 5.69 million Ascot shares representing 44.98 percent of the company for a total consideration of Rs.241.61 million, paying Rs.42.50 per share.
The deal triggered the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Takovers and Mergers Code and the consortium is required to announce a mandatory offer to purchase the remaining shares of Ascot.
Ascot shares closed trading yesterday at Rs.43.70, up Rs. 10.70 or 32.42 percent. The net book value of Ascot share was Rs. 52.77 at the end of June 2017.
Eighth Wonder made the largest purchase into Ascot with 3.1 million shares, while McVeigh bought 1.47 million shares. Warman bought 418,450 shares and Jamaldeen bought 698,563 shares.
The main two sellers of the shares were Axis Investments (Pvt) Ltd and St. Louis Capital
Ascot subsidiaries include the commercial property development arm Ascot Developments (Pvt) Ltd, a cement pavers and blocks manufacturer Amtrad Limited, a crusher plant operator L & A Quarries (Pvt) Ltd, as well as three not yet operational hospitality firms. According to the Ascot annual report released last month, two of the hospitality subsidiaries, which were planning to construct hotels in Yala and Ambalangoda had suffered setbacks, and the firm was looking for a joint venture partner to commence construction immediately.
Ascot holds Rs. 1.1 billion in investment property, which consists of a 41.5 perch property off T. B. Jayah Mawatha in Colombo 10, which has an eight floor building with a space of 70,100 square feet, and derives an income of Rs.108 million for 12 months occupancy.
Ascot made Rs.34.78 million in net profits during the 2017 financial year, up 42.9 percent from a year earlier.
Stocks touch 1-week high; net foreign inflow closes in on Rs.20bn
REUTERS: Sri Lankan stocks touched a one-week closing high yesterday, as investors picked up shares of beverages and telecom companies, brokers said. The Colombo stock index finished 0.3 percent firmer at 6,590.50, its highest close since October. 16. Shares of Ceylon Cold Store Plc climbed 4.1 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc rose 0.3 percent and Ceylon Brewery Plc ended 13.8 percent firmer.
“Market looks positive and we can see some big investors looking for opportunities to buy, and that’s the reason we see mergers and acquisitions these days, which have pushed the turnover levels,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, Chief Operating Officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.
“Retail investors are waiting to see the direction from the corporate results and budget.”
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on November 9.
Turnover stood at Rs.743.5 million, below this year’s daily average of Rs.937.4 million.
Foreign investors net bought shares worth Rs.275.4 million yesterday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs.19.4 billion