The fate of Danish East Asiatic Co's latest attempt to privatise its Hong Kong operation rests with minority shareholder Templeton Investment Management (HK). The second move to privatise East Asiatic Co (Hong Kong) (EAC) was launched on Thursday, and the offer was accepted yesterday by major shareholder Value Partners. The parent's offer for the debt-laden EAC is $1.30 cash per share, or an alternative offer of part cash and part shares, at a 17 per cent discount, in the parent company. EAC shares responded yesterday by rising four cents to $1.22. Value Partners assistant fund manager Norman Ho Man-kei said yesterday the company would realise $27 million from cashing in its 5.2 per cent stake. 'We will accept the offer because the price is higher than the $1.20 offered last time,' he said. 'Since we are an Asian-based fund house, we are restricted in being able to take up shares which are traded in Europe.' Templeton, which holds a 7 per cent stake in EAC, could not be reached for comment yesterday. The fund management group voted against the first privatisation bid in 1995, causing it to be aborted. It claimed the $1.20 a share offer was too low and demanded a payout of $1.90 a share. EAC managing director Lars Iversen was optimistic about winning the support of minority shareholders with the new plan. 'This time we have another offer to investors that they can choose to accept the 17 per cent discount to buy our parent's shares,' Mr Iversen said. He said the group would not raise the $1.30 cash price. There will be a special general meeting in May to finalise the plan.