Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Transpac president elected chairman of Eastern Multimedia

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Christopher Leong (梁家鏘), president of Singapore's Transpac Capital (匯亞基金), yesterday took over Gray Wang's (王令麟) chairmanship at the Eastern Multimedia Co (EMC, 東森媒體科技), with the aim of helping the company enter international stock markets, an official of the local cable-TV operator said yesterday.

"Leong's financial expertise and experience with venture-capital businesses will help EMC's development," said Chen Cheng-yi (陳正毅), an Eastern Multimedia spokesman.

Under Leong's leadership, the company hopes to become a listed company in international markets, Chen said, without elaborating on the time frame for this plan.

Before the shareholders' meeting yesterday, Chinese-language media speculated that the company's foreign investors joined forces to squeeze Wang out of the management board, referring to the company's financial loss of around NT$2.7 billion last year.

Chen dismissed that speculation, saying that Wang had long proposed relinquishing his chairman's seat at the cable company, which also owns the Eastern TV (東森電視).

Wang, who owns 18 percent in the company's shares, on Friday voluntarily offered to step down in order to focus on the media group's global expansion strategies, Chen said.

At that time, Wang announced that he had recommended three suitable candidates to replace him, including Leong, Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠), chairman of Fubon Group (富邦集團), and Charles Wu (吳中立), EMC's chief executive officer and president.

Leong yesterday secured a majority of votes to be elected as the company's new chairman. Wu remains the company's CEO and president. Transpac Capital owns a 12.5-percent stake in Eastern Multimedia.

Leong, a physicist, followed in his father's footsteps by beginning his own career in the food industry. He later entered the venture-capital business in the 1980s before heading Transpac Capital of Singapore -- one of Asia's largest and oldest private equity fund managers.

Leong told reporters yesterday after the shareholders' meeting that he believed the company's vast re-investments were to blame for its losses. He said he would make improving the company's financial transparency a top priority, before pursuing ways to expand its global presence.

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