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Yingde Gases executives step down after PAG deal accepted
April 21, 2017 / 2:18 AM / 6 months ago

Yingde Gases executives step down after PAG deal accepted

HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - Yingde Gases said its CEO and chief operating officer have resigned, giving Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG a clean slate to manage the company after its acquisition of a controlling stake in China’s largest industrial gases company.

Chief Executive Sun Zhongguo and COO Trevor Strutt stepped down after a board meeting on April 20 as a result of PAG becoming Yingde’s controlling shareholder, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday.

Qiu Zhongwei, a PAG managing director and former dealmaker with Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, was named chairman and CEO, the company added.

Yingde shares were little changed, down 0.2 percent in early trading, compared with a 0.5 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng index.

In a key move to win control of Yingde, PAG signed an agreement with co-founders Zhao Xiangti, Sun and Strutt to buy their combined 42.1 percent stake for $616 million.

As part of the deal, PAG also offered to buy out all outstanding stock in Yingde, with the private equity firm owning 90.9 percent of the shares as of April 20, the company said. PAG extended its HK$6 per share offer, which was set to expire April 20, to May 4.

Yingde Gases reported last week a net loss of 143 million yuan ($20.8 million) in 2016, hurt by impairment losses on plant, equipment and construction in progress, compared with 536 million yuan profit in 2015. (Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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