Thakral to give up electronics to focus on real estate

Thakral to give up electronics to focus on real estate


Repositioning of its principal business will be subject to shareholders’ nod




AFTER years of suffering heavy losses, dealing with growing competition and fighting an uphill battle against rampant piracy, Thakral Corp appears to have finally thrown in the towel.


In a surprise announcement posted on the Singapore Exchange last night, the company said that it plans to move away from its principal business of consumer electronics distribution, and move into the real estate industry instead.


Its board of directors, which met yesterday, will look to tap the ‘significant expertise and deal flow of its key shareholders, who have extensive expertise in real estate and infrastructure not only regionally, but also globally’.


The repositioning of Thakral’s principal business will be subject to shareholders’ approval.


Without elaborating, Thakral added that going into real estate and related infrastructure investment in the pan-Asian region ‘is expected to offer attractive returns to shareholders in the foreseeable future’.


It was also decided that Thakral could divest those assets that would no longer form part of the company’s core activities, including listed securities it currently holds.


While it prepares for this major transition, Thakral assured that its high-end consumer electronics distribution business would continue as normal. The board promised to achieve the best value possible for the company’s shareholders in divesting the core business.


Efforts to reach Thakral’s management at their Upper Circular Road office were unsuccessful.


In the issued statement, the Thakral board said that it had appointed a committee of directors – comprising vice-chairman Natarajan Subramaniam and non-executive directors Lee Ying Cheun and Andrew James Schwartz – to submit proposals and recommendations on how best to move forward with the proposed change of business.


An extraordinary general meeting of shareholders will be convened, although no time frame was specified.


‘The board believes that the current volatile capital market conditions could throw up significant opportunities which could potentially deliver attractive returns to shareholders,’ said the statement.


Thakral’s latest financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2008 saw it suffer a net loss attributable to shareholders of $535,000 versus a net profit of $217,000 a year ago. This is despite its revenue for the first quarter rising 85 per cent to $88.9 million.


In 2006, Thakral announced its exit from the flagging home entertainment business segment, which was continually held hostage to piracy in China.


And back in 1999, the company was badly hit by a $220 million loss that was then largely blamed on over-hedging against the Japanese yen.


Source: Business Times


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