When is a takeover not a takeover?

Enter the Jardine group. It announced yesterday a takeover of Singapore''s Cycle & Carriage รป but it did so in the genuine hope that the offer would fail.

Confused It's all thanks to Singapore's securities regulations that state a mandatory offer must be made whenever a shareholder goes over 25%. Jardine Strategic previously owned 24.98% of the Singapore car group, but now wants to increase it stake.

However, it doesn't want to buy the company outright, just increase its stake in what it sees as an undervalued company. So it has made a general offer for the whole company, in the conviction that the general offer will fail.This may be a 'first', even by the confusing standards of Asian MA.

Under Singaporean law, the Jardines offer needs to be taken up by more than 50% of shareholders if the general...

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