CATALIST-LISTED Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments (Apsil) - an investment holding company that counts tycoon Oei Hong Leong as a substantial shareholder - has ended a deal to buy a Chinese real estate firm via a reverse takeover, it said on Tuesday.
This comes as it has not obtained approval from China's Ministry of Commerce for the acquisition since its application for approval in 2016, it said in a statement.
In 2016, Apsil said it planned to buy the Chinese real estate firm that is controlled by the China Real Estate Development Union Investments for S$33.3 million. The loss-making firm is one of the oldest real estate developers in China, it said.
In explaining the rationale for the proposed acquisition, Apsil had said in 2016 that "by acquiring one of the oldest real estate developers in China, the company will be able to capitalise on its reputation, expertise and relationship with the national and local governments and the policies thereunder".
While that agreement had been terminated, the Apsil said it had earlier completed the acquisition of 72 per cent of two companies in Huzhou, China. Through those two firms, Apsil will focus on developing waterside villas, island residences and townhouses in Huzhou, a city in the Zhejiang province.
In that same week in 2016, it had announced a share subscription by Mr Oei. The fundraising was meant to finance the cash portion of the acquisition of the Chinese real estate firm. The share subscription has thus been cancelled.
Mr Oei has nearly 35 per cent of Apsil, a Malaysian company that was formerly in the funeral services business. It sold burial plots and burial niches.
On Feb 2, 2018, Apsil filing a regulatory notice saying that Mr Oei holds some 4 billion in shares of Apsil that are valued at S$12.2 million. The shares were part of an exercise of rights, the notice showed.