Unprofitable Taiwan Pulp and Paper Corp (TPPC, 台灣紙業) yesterday elected a new board of directors and chairman after an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting ousted the former chairman, ending an embittered management battle.
Board director Hsu Liang-yu (許良宇), a lawyer, won the chairmanship from Chien Hung-wen (簡鴻文) in Tainan yesterday with 57.09 percent attendance at the meeting.
Chien was accused of improper leadership by TPPC president Yu Mei-ling (余美玲). The long-standing dispute between the two about the company’s management strategy became a proxy fight at the beginning of the year.
Board members siding with Yu yesterday won five seats on the six-member board, while Chien’s family, which has a more than 20 percent stake in TPPC, gained only one seat.
However, Chien is likely to seek administrative recourse on the validity of the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, according to a report by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).
Besides electing a new chairman, TPPC’s new board also recognized last year’s earning results in line with regulatory requirements.
TPPC posted a net loss of NT$278 million (US$8.99 million) last year, or losses of NT$0.69 per share, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
The Tainan-based company was last month at risk of being delisted from the local bourse, as Chien refused to hold a shareholders’ meeting to sign off on TPPC’s earnings report for last year.
Last year, the company closed its pulp and paper plant in Tainan, as aging facilities and increasing production costs caused losses of nearly NT$1.75 billion over the past five years, company data showed.
Commenting on TPPC’s future, Hsu said that the company’s top priority is to focus on the new chemical plant in Tainan’s Sinying District (新營), which is scheduled to start production in the second quarter of this year.
TPPC, which operates three subsidiaries in Vietnam, is also planning to expand its market presence there this year, Hsu said.
The company yesterday announced it would not distribute any cash or stock dividends this year due to mounting losses and would hold another shareholders’ meeting on June 28.
TPPC shares rose 3.31 percent to close at NT$14.05 in Taipei trading after the management announcement, outperforming the benchmark TAIEX, which increased 0.72 percent to 9,697.34 points.
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