Stake changes: 1947 Trust becomes substantial holder of Jardine Matheson

U.S. one-dollar currency notes; taken September 2018.U.S. one-dollar currency notes; taken September 2018.

Singapore substantial shareholder changes: Jardine Matheson Holdings and 1947 Trust.

Jardine Matheson Holdings

Jardine Matheson Holdings reported Friday it has been notified by 1947 Trustees Ltd., as the trustee of a trust created in 1947, that its interest in the holding company had climbed to 5.01 percent from 4.97 percent previously. 

The increase over the 5 percent threshold makes the 1947 Trust a substantial shareholder of Jardine Matheson.

The increased interest was due to Jardine Matheson’s recent market purchases of its shares, which were subsequently cancelled, the company said in a filing to SGX. 

According to Jardine Matheson’s 2020 annual report, certain company directors are “discretionary objects” of a trust created in 1947 and which holds 35.92 million shares. A discretionary object is a potential beneficiary of a trust in which the trustees choose potential beneficiaries and their shares.

“Under the terms of the 1947 Trust, its income is to be distributed to a class of beneficiaries including senior executive officers and employees of the company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries,” the annual report said.

For 2020, the 1947 Trust distributed US$53 million to directors, up from US$48.1 million in 2019, the annual report said.

On Friday, the company continued to buyback its shares, acquiring 198,400 shares in the market at US$59.25 to US$59.79 each, with a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicating the value was as much as US$11.86 million.

In early December, the company said it would increase the quantum of its buyback program by US$250 million, for up to US$500 million worth of buybacks by end-June 2022.

Jardine Matheson is a holding company operating mainly in China and Southeast Asia, with businesses including motor vehicles, property investment and development, luxury hotels, food retailing, heavy equipment and agribusiness.

Jardine Strategic owned around 59.31 percent of Jardine Matheson as of 11 March 2021. Jardine Matheson is the controlling shareholder of Jardine Strategic.

In addition, Jardine Matheson’s group businesses include: Jardine Pacific, Jardine International Motors (JIM), Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, Mandarin Oriental, Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) and Astra.  

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