Jack So, chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, appears to have gained control of 21 Holdings Ltd. (01003.HK) as he bought into the company along with two other investors.
A group comprising So, Varitronix International (00710.HK) chairman Johnson Ko Chun-shun and Alibaba Pictures Group former chairman Dong Ping bought a major stake in 21 Holdings, which is involved in property agency and related services as well as toy sales and securities investments.
The investors bought the shares at 40 HK cents apiece, representing a discount of 79.2 percent, in an over-the-counter market deal, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
The investment has fueled speculation about their motive and their possible next move, the paper said.
21 Holdings had earlier suspended its share trading on April 1, saying that it was in talks to issue shares to third parties that may lead to a change in the company’s controlling ownership and pave way for a mandatory general offer.
Trading resumed on April 14 but was halted again the next day pending approval for a “whitewash waiver”, an exemption usually seen in sale of shell companies for rights of independent shareholders to receive a mandatory takeover offer from the investor.
The company’s former executive director Cheung Kwok-fan took over the firm in April last year, with plans to sell it to Eternity Investment Ltd. (00764.HK).
The plan, however, was scrapped in October the same year.
21 Holdings suffered a loss of HK$13.14 million last year even after selling a subsidiary to one of its directors for HK$4.5 million in December.
Translation by Vey Wong
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