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SCMP mulls choices to restore float

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 4:13am

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SCMP Group said it had shortlisted a handful of measures including a bonus share scheme to restore its public float.

The percentage of SCMP's public float fell to 10.6 per cent, below the minimum requirement of 25 per cent, when Kerry Media, the controlling shareholder, exercised its rights to 14.4 per cent of the firm's issued share capital held by three banks.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company said, "… to enable the board to gain a better understanding of certain of the proposals (namely, bonus share scheme and spin-off proposal) … Platinum Securities was commissioned to conduct further feasibility study on these two possible options".

It said the board held that the adoption of a spin-off proposal would not directly help to restore its public float. It said no decision had been made on either of the proposals.

Trading in the shares of SCMP has been halted since February 26. Before the suspension, the stock was up nearly 20 per cent this year.

Kerry Media is a unit of conglomerate Kerry Group. SCMP, publisher of the South China Morning Post, bought out Asia City Media last month for HK$30 million.

Asia City Media owns HK Magazine, an English-language lifestyle magazine founded in 1991, as well as The List, and some online outlets.