Kerry Media sells 14.4pc of SCMP to three banks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 March, 2009, 12:00am

The controlling shareholder of SCMP Group, the publisher of the South China Morning Post, has placed shares to three banks to raise HK$382.5 million and restore the required minimum public float.

SCMP yesterday announced controlling shareholder Kerry Media sold 75 million shares, or a 4.8 per cent stake, each separately to JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Bank of East Asia.

They each paid HK$127.5 million.

Altogether, Kerry Media placed 225 million shares to the three parties, representing about 14.4 per cent of the issued share capital of SCMP.

After the agreements, Kerry Media holds about 74.9 per cent of SCMP.

SCMP had been suspended from trading since February 25 last year after the shares in public hands fell to 10.7063 per cent of the company's issued share capital, below the listing's minimum requirement of 25 per cent.

The price for the share sale was HK$1.70 per share, representing a 38 per cent discount to the closing price of HK$2.74 on February 26 last year, the last trading day before the agreements.

Trading in SCMP shares resumed yesterday afternoon following the placement announcement. The shares closed 27.91 per cent lower at HK$1.86.

After the transaction, JP Morgan holds a 4.804 per cent stake in SCMP, while Deutsche Bank's interest stands at 4.805 per cent and the Bank of East Asia's stake will amount to 4.94 per cent.

Kerry Media also granted put options to the three banks.