Balda AG yesterday filed an application with the Taiwan Stock Exchange to sell half of its stake — about 20 million shares — in Taiwanese display manufacturer TPK Holding Co Ltd (宸鴻).
The filing came as a surprise, especially after TPK chief financial officer Freddie Liu (劉詩亮), in response to a question from an investor, said on Tuesday he had not heard anything from Balda about selling its stake.
Liu said Balda had previously said it would not sell TPK if the stock price traded below NT$450.
Balda’s share sale plan ended months of speculation that the German handset component maker would sell part of its TPK stake after the company floated its shares on the local stock market in October last year.
After the sale, Balda’s holding would drop to 17.8 million shares, or about 8 percent of TPK’s outstanding shares, through its subsidiary Balda Investments Singapore Pte Ltd.
On Feb. 8, Balda held an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to discuss a proposal from a US hedge fund shareholder, Octavian, to dismiss three members of the board — including Balda chairman Michael Naschke — and replace them with three of its own candidates.
The move was seen as an attempt by Octavian to grab power at Balda and sell its TPK shareholding fast. However, the motion did not pass after failing to receive the required 50 percent of votes.
TPK supplies touch displays to more than 30 customers including its biggest client, Apple Inc. The company said it plans to increase this number to 40 this year.
TPK shares edged up 0.21 percent to close at NT$486 yesterday.