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March 7, 2017

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Yingde to search for new CEO

YINGDE Gases Group Co yesterday said Chief Executive He Yuanping has resigned and will remain a director of the company until the completion of a strategic review that may result in the sale of one of China’s largest industrial gases firms.

He stepped down “due to his personal work commitments,” Yingde said in a securities filing without providing details. The company, which had revealed He’s plans to resign in a February 21 filing, said its board will look for a new CEO and make an announcement in due course.

The company has been involved in a takeover battle in recent months rarely seen in Hong Kong, with the latest twist taking place last week when Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG agreed to buy the combined 42.1 percent stake of co-founders Zhao Xiangti, Sun Zhongguo and Trevor Strutt for US$616 million.

Sun and Strutt, previously the chairman/CEO and chief operating officer of Yingde, respectively, were relieved from their posts during a November board meeting that named Zhao chairman of the company and have since been in a legal fight to be reinstated.

US industrial gas maker Air Products in late December made a takeover approach of US$1.5 billion in cash for Yingde.


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