Posted on: November 21, 2022, 03:46h.
Last updated on: November 21, 2022, 07:11h.
Landing International’s controlling owner, Yang Zhihui, has been suspended from his position as chairman and executive director. That’s after the Hong Kong-based casino developer’s board received notice from the region’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) that Yang is suspected of some shady corporate skullduggery.
The allegations relate to another company, Teamway International Group Holdings, a packaging business for whom Yang also acted as chairman until recently.
In 2015, Yang and Ng Kwok Fai, who is also accused of wrongdoing, concocted a plan to sell 75% of Teamway’s shares to an associate, Liu Liangjian, according to the SFC.
The regulator asserts this wasn’t a genuine sale, but part of the arrangement orchestrated by Ng and Yang to acquire Teamway for the benefit of a hidden buyer, named only as the “True Owner.” Liu began selling his shares in tranches shortly after the deal.
The True Owner would inject his own business into the venture, while the original packing business would be disposed of and returned to Chao Pang Ieng, the presale controlling shareholder of Teamway, according to the SFC.
Ng and Yang
In 2015, Ng and Yang persuaded Teamway to enter into another agreement to buy a property development business, Treasure Found Investments, and its subsidiary, PV Advisory Services, a consultancy business for HK250 million. These were purportedly owned by the True Owner and the price was overvalued, regulators claim.
The company financed the deal through a loan agreement, HK$50 million of which was provided by a company owned by Ng.
“Those transactions were allegedly to facilitate the True Owner to inject his own businesses into the Company and the return of the Packaging Business to Chao,” according to a Stock Exchange announcement by Teamway. The packaging business was deliberately undervalued, according to the SFC.
Payment of interest by the Company in cash on the [loans] and from the disposal of the then wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company ultimately furthered the private purposes and/or inured to the benefit of Ng and Yang,” the announcement reads.
The SFC accuses Yang of breaching his fiduciary duties to Teamway. The regulator also claims he failed to disclose inside information in breach of his disclosure duties, and undertook conduct dishonestly for his private purpose and personal benefits. He also failed to act with due and reasonable care, skill and diligence by failing to properly supervise the affairs of Teamway and its subsidiaries.
Yang made headlines in August 2018 when he was reported missing by the Landing board in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The board admitted it had no knowledge of its chairman’s whereabouts.
Yang resurfaced three months later. Landing said Yang had been “assisting the relevant department of the People’s Republic of China with its investigation during the period of his absence,” but had now “resumed his duties as Chairman of the Board,” in a November 2018 filing.
In 2020, Yang resigned from the board of Chinese diving equipment manufacturer China Dive Company. That’s after allegations he had manipulated the securities market.