Wed, May 16, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Chimei Innolux says three board members resign

RESHUFFLE:Those who stepped down represent Chimei Corp, one of three constituent firms of Chimei Innolux, relinquishing its influence on the board

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), the nation’s top LCD panel maker, yesterday said three board members representing the company’s biggest stakeholder, Chimei Corp (奇美實業), resigned in an effort to give more leeway to the management team to steer the company through the current industrial slump.

Company supervisors Jack Lin (林榮俊) and Richard Soong (宋光夫) and board director Lin Ching-sheng (林慶盛) submitted their resignations, according to a company statement.

The board yesterday also approved a proposal to raise NT$15 billion (US$508.2 million) by issuing corporate bonds via private placement, Chimei said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The proceeds will go toward buying raw materials, replenishing operational capital and repaying bank loans, it said.

The latest shake-up at the unprofitable panel maker came two months after the its seven-member board named Tuan Hsing-chien (段行建) as then-chairman Frank Liao’s (廖錦祥) replacement.

Tuan’s appointment has helped secure a new NT$40 billion bank loan and a bank rollover for the company’s NT$200 billion in syndicated loans. Earlier this month, Chimei posted its seventh consecutive quarterly loss, at NT$12.77 billion for the first quarter.

“That [reshuffle] will allow the management team to have more flexibility [on forming strategies],” Chimei Innolux spokesman Eddie Chen (陳彥松) said by telephone.

Chimei Corp, which holds a share of about 17 percent in the LCD panel maker, will now simply be one of the company’s investors, Chen said.

“It will keep its shareholding intact,” he added.

Chimei Innolux is scheduled to elect new members to fill the board vacancies during a shareholders’ meeting on June 29.

Chimei Innolux was formed on March 18, 2010, via a three-way merger of Chimei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), Innolux Display Corp (群創光電) and TPO Displays Corp (統寶光電).

Innolux Display, heavily invested by Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), is the surviving company. Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) holds a 2.91 percent stake in Chimei Innolux, while Hon Hai Group owns about 8.15 percent.

“Since the merger, Chimei Innolux has undertaken a complicated integration and merging process. In addition to expressing our gratitude for the support of our customers, shareholders, employees, and so forth, we also thank Chimei Corp and its team for their continuous care and support in addressing the severe upheavals caused by the global economic downturn and changes in the flat panel industry,” Chimei Innolux said in the statement.

Shares of Chimei Innolux fell 3.31 percent to NT$11.7 yesterday, while rival AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) saw its shares go down 2.32 percent to NT$12.65.

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