Game developer XPEC Entertainment Inc (樂陞科技) yesterday said that it would take legal recourse against CTBC Bank Co (中國信託銀行) over alleged shortcomings in overseeing a deal that collapsed, sending its share price tumbling.
The announcement reverses XPEC’s earlier decision to not press charges against the bank in the face of a protracted legal battle as financial regulators and prosecutors investigate suspected wrongdoing in the failed tender offer from Bai Chi Gan Tou Digital Entertainment Co (百尺竿頭) of Japan.
“The company will press charges against CTBC Bank in the event that authorities deem the bank responsible for irregularities or oversight, in a bid to preserve the interests of our shareholders,” XPEC said in a statement.
Serving as the deal’s depository bank, CTBC Bank on Aug. 22 filed a request with local regulators to extend Bai Chi’s NT$4.86 billion (US$154 million) acquisition of a 25.71 percent stake in XPEC until Aug. 31, after the Japanese firm missed an Aug. 19 deadline to provide the required funds.
If the bank was untruthful, it would imply that it had helped mislead regulators, including the Financial Supervisory Commission and the Investment Bureau, as well as investors, XPEC said in its statement.
Investors who bought shares in XPEC have said that CTBC Bank, to protect its own reputation, must furnish obligations to those affected in lieu of Bai Chi and seek reparations on its own.
XPEC shares yesterday rallied for the second consecutive trading session, rising by the daily 10 percent limit to NT$44.65 as the firm began a share repurchasing program.
In related news, financial regulators, law firms, academics and local bourses yesterday hosted a seminar on the rules governing open tender offers.
Although participants agreed that funding sources should be the most vital aspect of tender offer applications, followed by adequate deposit requirements, they said that such measures are not in line with international norms and would be difficult to implement without hampering compliance of international standards and the nation’s economic development.
Experts said that buyers should seek certification by third-party financial institutions, such as banks, on their ability to meet obligations.
Regarding suggestions that the tender offer period be changed, experts said that no changes should be allowed, barring exceedingly compelling circumstances, and that investors should have the chance to pull out of the deal in the event of time extensions should they choose to do so.
Seminar participants also said that the responsibilities and jurisdiction of independent board of director members should be reassessed to improve corporate governance.
In addition, material information disclosures must be shored up to improve transparency, they said.
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