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TWi Pharmaceuticals chairman offers to take company private

TWi Pharmaceuticals Inc. founder and Chairman Chen Chih-ming plans to take the company private, the Taipei Times reported, citing a regulatory filing.

The going-private deal, which will be done through a tender offer and a share swap, is intended to strengthen the company's financial structure and adjust its product development strategy, according to the report.

Chen offered to acquire 52.44 million shares, representing 43.57% of the company's issued shares, at NT$72 apiece in an open market transaction using one of his personal investment entities. He already owns a 3.62% stake in the company, a developer of generic drugs.

The tender offer, which launched March 22, requires a minimum purchase of 6.02 million shares, or 5% of the Taipei-based company's issued shares. The tender offer is open for acceptance until April 15.

Upon completion of the tender offer, Chen's investment entity will swap shares at a one-to-one exchange ratio to acquire 100% of TWi Pharmaceuticals. The investment entity plans to apply for the delisting of TWi's shares from the Taipei Exchange in the third quarter.

TWi's board will initiate a strategic review process before approving Chen's buyout offer.

KGI Securities Co. is helping TWi Pharmaceuticals manage the offer.

As of March 22, US$1 was equivalent to NT$30.89.