Lye and Lim ousted from Ho Hup’s board in EGM

  • Business
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2010

PETALING JAYA: Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd shareholders voted out six of the eight directors of the company including deputy executive chairman Datuk Vincent Lye and group managing director Lim Ching Choy at an EGM yesterday.

The EGM was called by major shareholder and former managing director Datuk Low Tuck Choy and Choo Soo Har to remove the board of directors, except for Low’s brother Teik Kin, and appoint six others in their stead.

Low, the eldest son of Ho Hup founder Low Chee, has direct control over about 25% of the shares in Ho Hup through family investment vehicle Low Chee & Sons Sdn Bhd. Lye, through Extreme System Sdn Bhd, controlled 27.95% of the shares in the company.

All the resolutions proposed by Low Chee & Sons were passed with some 55.94% of the shareholders voting for the removal of Lye, Lim, Datuk Liew Lee Leong, Long Mohd Nor Amran Long Ibrahim, Mohd Shahril Hamzah and Foo Ton Hin.

A seventh director, Lai Moo Chan, whose name was on the list of directors to be removed, had resigned before the EGM was convened.

Six new directors – Datuk Kamaruzzaman Shariff, Hew Thin Chay, Yusob Mohd Tasir, D. Felix Dorairaj, Slamat Hamzah and Chow Seck Kai – were voted in with around 55.81% of the votes.

Kamaruzzaman was appointed the new chairman of the construction firm.

The EGM, which had been quite staid, took a somewhat dramatic turn when Lim together with Foo and Long Mohd Nor Amran walked out of the room less than half an hour after it was convened by a lawyer representing Low Chee & Sons.

Shareholders were generally quiet despite being given the opportunity to comment on the resolutions before the vote.

Speaking to reporters following the conclusion of the EGM, Low said: “My role here is finished, I’ve done my part to see that the minority shareholders are not shortchanged.”

He was referring to the previous board of directors’ revised restructuring scheme that called for shareholders to take a 60% capital reduction from the par value of every share held besides making available up to 30 million rights shares at RM1 each to existing shareholders post the capital reduction and the issuance of 10 million new RM1 shares to be placed out to investors.

Low had countered with another restructuring scheme, which involved a renounceable rights issue of 25.5 million irredeemable convertible preference shares (ICPS) valued at RM1 each with two free warrants for each ICPS subscribed on a basis of one-for-four to raise an initial RM25.5mil, the raising of another RM51mil as and when the warrants were exercised over the fiveyear tenure as well as the disposal of non-core land to raise more capital.

The newly appointed directors, meanwhile, were non-committal about the future plans of the company.

Kamaruzzaman said the board would have to look through the current financial situation and assets before making any plans.

“We’ve just been appointed and our exposure to Ho Hup is as what has been reported in the press,” he said.

Another newly appointed member, Hew, said the board would look through the merits of the plans put forward by the previous board as well as Low before making any decisions.

He said decisions made by the previous board would be scrutinised before new plans for the company were put forward and this could be within two weeks.

“The important issue is to look into the merits of the case first; we’ll support any decisions (made by the previous board) if they have merits,” Hew said

He said the timing of the joint venture agreement with Malton Bhd to develop 60 acres of freehold land approved by the previous board was “not suitable” as it was announced just before the EGM.

  HOHUP :  [Stock Watch]  [News]PETALING JAYA: Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd shareholders voted out six of the eight directors of the company including deputy executive chairman Datuk Vincent Lye and group managing director Lim Ching Choy at an EGM yesterday.

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