KUALA LUMPUR: Liew Tian Xiong, the eldest son of property magnate Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, has caused a tsunami in the market after it emerges that he is buying over Focal Aims Holdings Bhd.
Focal bulldozed its way to its highest level since 1996 when it closed at RM1.24 yesterday.
The stock could not be traded beyond RM1.24 because it had risen to the maximum 30 per cent in a single trading.
With the limit-up, investors will be watching Focal today to see if the shares will trade below the offer price of RM1.40 or if excited investors will push the shares beyond that level.
Focal shares flew as investors speculated that the younger Liew was a jigsaw to a much more larger puzzle.
Tongues were wagging that the elder Liew will eventually emerge in Focal after May 2015 to challenge the dominance of SP Setia Bhd, the country’s top property developer.
To bolster their view, dealers pointed to the names behind Eco World Development Holdings Bhd, the company which had made the offer to buy out the current shareholders of Focal.
The shareholders of Eco World are the elder Liew’s long-time partners and SP Setia’s previous directors, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf and Datuk Eddie Leong Kok Wah, who is also the dominant stakeholder in Salcon Bhd.
Earlier yesterday, Focal told Bursa Malaysia that it had received a notice from Eco World, formerly known as Maple Quay Sdn Bhd, and Tian Xiong.
Focal shares were suspended for nearly an hour in the morning session for the announcement.
The offer on the table was simple. Eco World and Tian Xiong will pay RM1.40 a share to acquire 65 per cent of Focal, which traded below 92 sen last week.
In total, the takeover partners will pay RM230.7 million for control of Focal, a price dealers say is not high if the elder Liew eventually takes day-to-day control of Focal.
He is the current president and CEO of SP Setia and is on the way out of the company, with March 15 2015 said to be the date he is leaving.
Kee Sin, who at one point owned 12 per cent of SP Setia, has often been identified as the controlling stakeholder in the company.
This is because the charismatic businessman is highly regarded as an industry trendsetter in the areas of product design and good price premiums for its properties.
He lost control of SP Setia in 2011 after Permodalan Nasional Bhd launched a billion-ringgit takeover deal.