May 19, 2020

Gunns Limited receives financial backing

new zealand
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Gunns Limited receives financial backing

Forestry company Gunns Limited has renewed hope for the future of its business after receiving a generous investment from a New Zealand-born billionaire.

The Richard Chandler Corporation (RCC), a Singapore-based capital investment firm, has offered to invest AU$150 million in the troubled Tasmanian company through a share and bond-based agreement, giving the corporation a 39 per cent stake in Gunns.

The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Gunns, who recently received an extension on their debt payback in order to keep the company afloat and help move along the construction of the controversial Bell Bay Pulp Mill. As a result of the investment announcement, Gunns’ stock, which hovered around the 10 cent mark for weeks, shot up 36 per cent to close at 17 cents yesterday, according to the Herald Sun.


The deal will not be 100% sealed until the ASX stamps it with their approval and Gunns’ shareholders vote on it in mid-April, but that hasn’t dampened the spirits of Gunns’ managing director Greg L’Estrange.

“In combination with the asset sales program, the proposed recapitalisation will facilitate a further significant reduction in company debt,” he said in a media release. “This will provide the platform for us to proceed with our core strategy, based on the softwood sawmilling business and the utilisation of our extensive Tasmanian hardwood plantation estate within the proposed Bell Bay Pulp Mill.”

Alan Kelly, senior advisor to the RCC, said the investment is a “significant” economic contribution to Australia.

“We see its future as building a foundation for sustainable development and economic growth which will provide a future for the Tasmanian forestry industry,” said Kelly in a media release yesterday.

Another $130 million is proposed to be raised via a “pro-rata renounceable rights issue” to current shareholders.

RCC is a major shareholder in Sino Oil and Gas Holdings Limited, Energy World Corporation, and Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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