Top shareholder gears to shake up Esprit

Business | Winnie Lee 14 Jul 2020

Karen Lo Ki-yan, an heiress of Vitasoy International (0345) and the wife of veteran investor Eugene Chuang Yue-chien, has boosted her Esprit (0330) shares by another 100 million.

Esprit is facing a boardroom battle as Lo plans to introduce representatives to the board while also removing chief executive Anders Christian Kristiansen and chief financial officer Johannes Georg Schmidt-Schultes. Lo raised her stake again by HK$1 per share on average or HK$100 million yesterday, disclosure of interest from HKEX showed. She now holds 343 million shares, with her proportion of company shares rising to 18.18 percent from 12.89 percent.

Lo previously raised her shares of Esprit earlier this month. The move saw her replace the daughters of Michael Ying Lee-yuen, former chairman and chief executive of the group, as the sole largest shareholder and become the biggest shareholder of Esprit last week.

Ying gave away shares to his daughters in October 2017, with the daughters holding 11.22 percent shareholding of the company.

Following Lo's gambit, she requested Esprit call a special general meeting to remove several directors and management through her company, North Point Talent.

Esprit fell 17 percent to HK$1.22 yesterday.

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