24 May 2019
ATV will have to open its books to independent auditors after the High Court ruling. Photo: HKEJ
ATV will have to open its books to independent auditors after the High Court ruling. Photo: HKEJ

Taiwan tycoon wins bid to name auditors to ATV

Hong Kong’s High Court has ruled in favor of Taiwanese tycoon Tsai Eng-meng in his high-profile bid to appoint independent auditors to Asia Television Ltd. (ATV) after accusing it of mismanagement.

The ruling allows Tsai to seek an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to appoint two independent auditors to the board, free daily am730 reported Tuesday.

They will be authorized to examine company accounts and ensure a proper hiring process for a president of the smaller of Hong Kong’s two free-to-air TV operators.

Tsai will bear the cost of hiring the auditors.

The court ordered David Wong, chairman of Prosperity International Holdings HK Ltd (0803.HK), to sell at least 10.75 percent of his stake to an independent third party.

The disposal means Wong, who has a 52.42 percent interest in ATV, will no longer have control of the company.

Also, Justice Jonathan Harris said major investor Wang Zheng had “inappropriately” intervened in the management of the company.

Wang and Wong are relatives.

Wong’s shareholding will fall to 41.67 percent, making Tsai and Antenna Investment Ltd., owned by merchant Payson Cha and his brother, majority shareholders with a combined 47.58 percent stake.

In a statement Monday, ATV said it will strive to remove any form of intervention in its business operations. It had no comment about the ruling.

Meanwhile, the Labour Department said it issued a warning to ATV regarding compliance with the Employment Ordinance.

The warning came after reports ATV has not paid its employees since November.

ATV and its bigger rival, Television Broadcasts Ltd., are up for license renewals next year, the report said.

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