THE shareholder feud brewing at Harvest Court Industries Bhd — essentially a face-off between well-known businessmen Datuk Raymond Chan (the CEO) and Datuk Eddie Chai — must surely have investors terribly confused and clamouring for clarity.
Last Friday, Chan said after an annual general meeting that he is willing to declare under oath that Chai and Datuk Kenneth Vun have accumulated 33% to 34% in the company, although both men have denied it.
Is all this really necessary? The regulators should look into the matter and ensure its speedy resolution before it becomes a mockery.
Harvest Court has a checkered past because of erratic movements in its share price. In 2011, the stock gained more than 2,500% within a short span of time and eventually tanked, losing most of its value.
This time around, since early May, the counter has gained close to 50%, once again generating considerable interest among investors. Surely, this has got to do with the expectation that a mandatory general offer may be made, given Chan’s claim that Chai and Vun own 33% to 34% of the company?
To recap, the feud started when Chai’s private vehicle Zenith City Investments took legal action against Harvest Court earlier this month for not acting on its May 12 notice requesting that a resolution to appoint him and two other directors be considered at the AGM.
Harvest Court, in its Bursa Malaysia announcement informing shareholders about the legal action, said Chai had revealed to Chan on May 9 that he, Zenith and third parties collectively held a 33% to 34% stake in it. By law, they should be making an MGO for the rest of the company’s shares, Harvest Court said, and lodged a complaint with Bursa and Securities Commission Malaysia about possible breaches of the law.
But Chai disputed the allegations and in a press conference later, said he only had a 19.41% stake held through Zenith.
In the same announcement, Harvest Court said Chai claimed that Vun, another Sabah businessman and stock market player, held more than a 10% stake in the company and was supportive of him.
Enough drama already.
This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 23 - 29, 2014.