HONG KONG, March 8 (Reuters) - A majority of Yingde Gases Group’s shareholders voted on Wednesday against a resolution to remove two of its co-founders and main shareholders from its board, the latest chapter in a battle for control that could result in changed leadership at the Chinese company.
Most shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) voted against removing Sun Zhongguo and Trevor Strutt from the board of directors, according to an investor present at the meeting who declined to be named because results of the vote were not yet public.
A second source also confirmed the result, though the exact tally of the votes was not immediately available. Yingde declined to comment.
Amid the battle for control, China’s largest industrial gases company is in play, with U.S. industrial gas maker Air Products making a takeover approach, and Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG agreeing to buy a substantial stake.
Sun and Strutt, previously the Chairman/CEO and COO of Yingde, respectively, were relieved from their executive posts at a November board meeting that named Zhao Xiangti, another co-founder and major shareholder, chairman of Yingde. The two have since been in a legal fight to get reinstated.
The board of Yingde could be totally changed after a separate EGM on Wednesday that will vote on the ouster of Zhao and four other directors from the nine-member board and reduce the board to five people. (Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)