Singapore Tycoon Oei Raises Stake in Raffles Education

Singapore businessman Oei Hong Leong raised his stake in Raffles Education Corp., a private school operator he has been in various disputes with since 2017.

Oei, the second biggest shareholder of the education provider, bought about 6.4 million shares to boost his holdings to 14% of company’s voting shares, according to a Singapore Exchange filing on Saturday. He held 13.5% of the company before the purchase.

Raffles Education’s shares rallied as much as 31% on Friday, prompting the exchange to send a query to the company regarding the trading activity. The stock closed at its highest since April 2018.

Oei has had a tumultuous relationship with Raffles Education for more than three years after a placement diluted his shareholding. He and his firm Oei Hong Leong Art Museum Ltd. failed in attempts to oust the company’s chairman and founder Chew Hua Seng in 2017 and 2020. He also sued Raffles Education last year over a plan to raise its stake in a Chinese property firm.

The tycoon has had some successes. In 2018, he wrote a letter asking shareholders to vote on the termination of a planned rights offer. About three months later, Raffles Education canceled the plan, citing market conditions and the stock falling below the issue price.

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