No Signboard assists police investigations related to share buyback

The No Signboard Seafood outlet at VivoCity mall in Singapore; taken in 2018.The No Signboard Seafood outlet at VivoCity mall in Singapore; taken in 2018.

Chili crab restaurateur No Signboard Holdings said Monday it was assisting the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore police force with investigations related to an abortive share buyback earlier this year.

“The company is fully cooperating with the CAD in its investigations,” No Signboard said in a filing to SGX. “No files or records or equipment belonging to the company have been seized by the authority.”

As part of the cooperation, No Signboard said it provided access to and was given documents related to the abortive share buyback.

The CEO and chief financial officer have given statements to the CAD over the buyback, it said.

“While the passport of the CEO has been retained by the CAD (which the company understands is a requirement during investigations), no person in the company has been arrested or charged for any offense by the authority,” No Signboard said. “The investigations will also not affect the CEO and CFO of the company in their respective roles and functions.”

No Signboard said the business and operations haven’t been affected by the investigation. It requested that the trading halt on its shares be lifted.

On 31 January, the company’s shares jumped 23.97 percent to the day’s high of S$0.15 in a surge of volume, before No Signboard requested a trading halt during the mid-day break.

In response to the SGX query, No Signboard said that shareholders had approved a share buyback mandate at its annual general meeting on the morning of 31 January.

After the approval, Executive Chairman and CEO Lim Yong Sim had instructed the company’s brokerage, UOB Kay Hian, to queue to buy shares at a price of up to S$0.14, with a total of 1.07 million shares purchased as of 12:12 P.M. SGT on Thursday, 31 January, the filing said.

At the time, No Signboard had called it an “honest mistake” by Lim as he hadn’t realized the purchase price exceeded the allowable price cap under the share buyback mandate; in addition, the buyback also breached “black-out period” rules as its earnings results hadn’t yet been reported, the company had told SGX.

 

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