HK Airlines directors slapped with injunction as government deadline for boardroom battle to end nears

24-Apr-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:38 AM Print This Post

Four directors at Hong Kong Airlines have been served with an injunction that prevents them from making any decisions about the future direction of the business.

The legal step was taken on Tuesday by former director Zhong Guosong, who last week launched a boardroom coup and claimed to have seized control of the airline.

A representative for Zhong said the Hong Kong Airlines Limited board members, who have not been named, had been served with notices that sources said prevented the carrier’s present management or rival shareholders from interfering, sabotaging, or making decisions beyond the normal operation of the business, unless approved by Zhong and his rival board.

The injunction, which was first reported by the Post, was delivered to HKA’s headquarters and may add weight to the ex-director’s legal claim to be in charge of the city’s third-largest airline.

A statement released on Tuesday morning did not name the quartet, but the existing board members include chair Hou Wei, Wang Liya, Sun Jianfeng and Tang Kit, according to the Company Registry, all of whom have ties to controlling shareholder HNA Group. “HKAL’s majority shareholders wish to reiterate that the reason for taking this action is to secure HKAL’s financial future which remains under significant financial stress, believing this course of action is in the best interests of HKAL, its employees, customers, as well as business partners,” the statement said.

“HKAL’s Board of directors emphasized again that no actions should be taken to obstruct or otherwise affect the ongoing operation of HKAL.”

According to Zhong’s representatives the injunction was posted on the door of Hong Kong Airlines’ headquarters on the 11th floor of the Citygate building in Tung Chung. But the Post checked the entrance, and no legal papers were visible.

It remains unclear who is in charge at the airline, as neither controlling shareholder HNA, or Zhong, has offered any proof. Hong Kong Airlines and its holding entity is a private company.

This came as the Post learned the government had set a Wednesday deadline for the company to confirm who was really in charge.

HNA, the debt-laden Chinese conglomerate, had earlier declined to comment on the injunction.

HNA and a rival faction with links to the corporation led by Zhong are feuding in a battle of the shareholders, with both claiming control of HKA.

Over the past week, claims and counterclaims of financial mismanagement, theft of proprietary documents and even of break-ins at the carrier’s headquarters have overshadowed the operating airline’s deepening financial crisis.


Category: Hong Kong

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