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Japan’s Nojima Corp in takeover bid for Courts Asia

Japanese electronics retailer Nojima Corp has launched a conditional takeover bid for Courts Asia.

The deal is conditional upon Courts Asia’s majority owner Singapore Retail Group (SRG) agreeing to the deal. Offering 20.5 cents a share for the business, the offer represents a 35 per cent premium over the price shares were trading at before the bid was revealed.

Nojima is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Like, Courts Asia, it is an electrical appliance retailer, boasting more than 8000 employees and a market capitalisation of S$1.4 billion. Sales in the year to March 31 last year were $6.1 billion.

Courts Asia has 80 stores trading in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and besides electronics sells furniture and IT products as well. The company has enjoyed mixed fortunes in recent years, impacted by external factors such as the imposition of GST in Malaysia. It reported a net loss of $3.1 million in its second quarter, a stark contrast to the net profit of $1.5 million during the same period a year earlier. Sales for the three months to September 30 fell 6.4 per cent to $165.1 million.

Nojima says if it wins control of the company it may carry out a “strategic and operational review” of the business to realise “synergies, economies of scale, cost efficiencies and growth potential”. It will most likely delist the company in Singapore.

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