By Gaurav Raghuvanshi
SINGAPORE--Singapore property developer OUE Ltd. (LJ3.SG) Wednesday said it has been approached to see if it is interested in buying a stake in United Engineers Ltd. (U04.SG), but it was not in talks for such a deal.
OUE was responding to media reports that it is keen to bid for stakes of United Engineers owned by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (O39.SG) and its insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings Ltd.
"There are no ongoing discussions and there is no assurance whatsoever that any definitive or binding agreement for the purchase" will be reached, OUE said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange.
The filing didn't mention who had approached OUE with the proposal.
Last week, OCBC and Great Eastern had said in a joint announcement that they are reviewing "strategic options" regarding their combined stake in United Engineers.
In 2014, Thailand's TCC Top Enterprise Ltd., controlled by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi engaged in discussions to buy the stake owned by OCBC and its unit. The talks failed before a deal could be reached.
OCBC and Great Eastern in total own about a 36% stake in United Engineers. Under Singapore's takeover rules, any sale of the stakes owned by OCBC and its affiliates would trigger a mandatory open offer for the whole of United Engineers. United Engineers is currently has a market capitalization of 1.6 billion Singapore dollars (US$1.17 billion).
Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at firstname.lastname@example.org