[SINGAPORE] Yangzijiang Shipbuilding's controlling shareholder and executive chairman Ren Yuanlin has shot back at allegations of misdeeds levelled against him by a China-listed railway company, saying that these are "mischievous" and calculated to damage him.
Yangzijiang disclosed yesterday that Mr Ren has personally reassured the firm of this, and said he took a serious view of the allegations by Tianjin Guoheng Railway Holding against him and his investment vehicle Taixing City Liyuan Investment (Liyuan Investment).
A news report on the allegations against Yangzijiang's key executive caused the shares of the listed Chinese shipbuilder here to tumble 11 per cent last Friday, prompting a trading activity query from the Singapore Exchange.
Yangzijiang, in its response yesterday, said Mr Ren clarified that the allegations arose following Liyuan Investment's attempt to reconstitute the board of Tianjin Guoheng - a firm listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange - after it acquired a 12.08 per cent stake in the company in January and emerged as its largest shareholder.
In May, Liyuan Investment approached the railway company's incumbent board of directors to convene a general shareholder meeting for the board changes including the appointment of nominees of Liyuan Investment.
"The incumbent board of directors, however, unreasonably resisted Liyuan Investment's legitimate approach, and shortly thereafter, on May 26, 2014 alleged misdeeds against Liyuan Investment and Mr Ren," said Yangzijiang.
Based on Mr Ren's account of the events, Yangzijiang said that two days later Liyuan Investment "confidentially submitted its responses and rebuttals to these allegations" to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Mr Ren has also personally assured Yangzijiang and its board that the "allegations and its publicity are mischievous, and calculated to damage him and thwart Liyuan Investment's corporate objectives in relation to Tianjin Guoheng.
"He (Mr Ren) will not be deterred from pursuing Liyuan Investment's lawful interest as the largest shareholder of Tianjin Guoheng," the company added.
Furthermore, Yangzijiang said that Mr Ren took a very serious view of such allegations and conduct and will explore all remedies available against the "perpetrators" while consulting with his advisers.
Mr Ren, who had earlier in the year indicated that he may retire from his chairmanship in the shipbuilding firm in three years, owns a 26 per cent stake in Yangzijiang via Newyard Worldwide.
Yangzijiang stressed that no allegations have been made against the firm or its subsidiaries.
In a separate announcement, the mainboard-listed company said its wholly-owned Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding has delivered its maiden 64,000 DWT (deadweight tonne) bulk carrier and second 10,000 TEU containership.