how does a currently publicly listed company on the stock exchange go back to being private (Pty. Ltd.)?

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If this can even be done, how is it done? Thanks!

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I can only speak to the US process (Pty. Ltd. is Singapore?), but I expect the process is generally the same. Generally, a public company can be acquired by another company by paying a fair price to the public shareholders and getting the level of shareholder approval required by applicable corporate law and the company’s governing documents (at least a majority of shares must approve, and it may be a supermajority). Typically, this is an acquisition by a larger company, but it can also be an acquisition by a private company formed for the purpose of taking the company private — this is effectively how the Musk acquisition of Twitter is structured.

It can be done. It is a voluntary delisting process that the company has to declare and file the required paperwork at the exchange and with the SEC. Clearly not a process that can be explained in any detail through an ELI5.

First the board and/or share holders approve a sale. New owners buy the outstanding shares. They then have control of the company and go through the process to change from a corporation to another legal entity.

A company or individual makes an offer to the board to buy for $X/share and board can approve the purchase. Similar to a company getting acquired by another company. Once board agreed to purchase, shareholders eventually have to sell shares.