HONG KONG — Eng Wah Organization, one of the best-known names in Singapore’s entertainment scene, disappeared this week from the country’s stock market.
Company has completed a $660 million reverse take-over by Japanese biotechnology firm Transcutaneous Technologies and stock has now been renamed Transcu.
Among the conditions of the deal were the sale of the group’s property interests and its film distribution operation.
In August, it was announced that Empress Theater, Toa Payoh Entertainment Center, Jubilee Entertainment Complex and the 16th floor at Orchard Towers would be sold for S$99.5 million ($65.9 million) to a company owned by Eng Wah founder Goh Eng Wah and his daughter, Eng Wah’s MD Goh Min Yen. The other businesses were sold to the pair for $3.64 million.
Property deal was criticized by investors as having taken too long and being conducted at a poor price. The Gohs said that other potential buyers had been put off by the credit crunch and the deal was eventually approved by Eng Wah Org’s minority shareholders.
Company was founded in the 1940s with movies initially screened at the Gay World in Geylang district. It floated on the stock market in 1994 and was involved in a loss-making attempt to bring the Crazy Horse erotic revue to uptight Singapore in 2007.
Operating 28 screens, Eng Wah is Singapore’s fourth ranking cinema group, behind Golden Village, Cathay Cineplex and Shaw Organization. But it is one of the most D-Cinema ready — some 20 of its screens are equipped with digital technology.