SINGAPORE, March 8 - Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltdon Monday said it plans to buy the remaining 15% ofJardine Strategic Holdings Ltd that it does not alreadyown for about $5.5 billion to simplify the structure of thesprawling Asian conglomerate. Singapore-listed Jardine Matheson, whose businesses includeconstruction, aviation and automotive, has offered to pay $33 incash for each Jardine Strategic share, representing a premium of20% to the stock's closing price on Friday. "This will result in a single holding company with aconventional ownership structure and a further increase in thegroup's operational efficiency and financial flexibility," itsaid in a statement. Jardine Strategic is a listed company holding most of theconglomerate's major listed interests. Its portfolio includes property firm Hongkong Land HoldingsLtd, supermarket chain Dairy Farm InternationalHoldings Ltd and hotel operator Mandarin OrientalInternational Ltd, as well as automotive companiesJardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd and Jakarta-listed PTAstra International Tbk. Jardine Strategic also has a 59% holding in Jardine Mathesonitself, which will be cancelled following the deal. Its stockexchange listings will also be cancelled. Jardine Matheson was founded in 1832 and has businessesacross China and Southeast Asia, with Hong Kong its singlebiggest market. REUTERS
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