With effect from April 17, So Wing Hoi stepped down as chief financial officer and executive director of Hong Kong-listed Huishan Dairy, China’s largest dairy farm operator whose stock price fell 85% in March.
Huishan cited “health reasons” for the resignation, noting that So “is still recovering from a recent scheduled heart surgery.”
The CFO is the latest executive to depart the company, following the resignations of five other board directors, leaving the company with only founder Yang Kai and Ge Kun on the board. Ge Kun, who acts as treasurer, has been “uncontactable,” says the company.
Huishan’s stock market meltdown started last month with the revelation that Yang had pleaded with some 20 creditor banks in China for more time to restructure about US$5.8 billion in debt. The company was later declared in default of US$200 million in bank loans. Trading in its shares remains suspended.
Yang is said to have pledged nearly all of his 72% stake in Huishan as collateral for loans to the company and his personal ventures in real estate, financial services and other businesses.
A court in Shanghai has frozen many of his assets. The latest twist in the sorry saga is Yang’s sale of most of his shares in Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank, also listed in Hong Kong, which raised the equivalent of US$54 million – although that is just a drop in the bucket of his multi-billion dollar obligations.