Four top Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agrico execs quit

By Phuong Dong   December 31, 2020 | 04:00 am PT
Four top Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agrico execs quit
Banana is one of HAGL Agrico's main fruits. Photo courtesy of HAGL Agrico.
Four key executives of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agrico have submitted their resignations ahead of an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for early January.

The agriculture company said the resignation letters tendered by directors Do Xuan Dien, Vo Truong Son and Nguyen Quan Anh and head of the supervisory board, Le Hong Phong, would be placed for approval at the EGM on January 8 and two new people would be nominated to replace them.

In early December, the company had dismissed two deputy general directors and the chief accountant.

It had earlier this month notified the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) that at the EGM it would also seek shareholder approval for a VND7.41 trillion ($321.76 million) private placement to swap debts and augment its capital.

The management has said a debt-equity swap is the only feasible option left to raise capital after accumulated losses reached VND2.31 trillion by June 30.

VND5.5 trillion worth of shares will be swapped for most of the debts owed to Truong Hai Agriculture Joint Stock Company (Thadi), a major creditor, while the rest will serve as working capital until 2023.

The placement, if approved by the State Securities Commission, will take place immediately, and will carry trading restrictions for one year.

According to its third quarter financial statement, 2020 was a difficult year for the company. It posted a net loss of VND80 billion in the first nine months, down from VND853 billion in the same period last year.

It blamed the loss on rising expenses and falling revenues from financial investments.

As of September 30, the company had loans of VND12.25 trillion, or around 50 percent of its total assets.

While it has been repaying bank loans, it borrowed more from leading auto firm Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) and its subsidiary Thadi. These loans now account for 38.12 percent of its debts.

On Tuesday, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, its biggest shareholder, registered to sell a 4.28 percent stake, bringing its ownership down from 40.83 percent to 36.55 percent.

Analysts speculated that the buyers were most likely persons related to Thaco, who have been instrumental in bailing Agrico out of financial difficulties for several years.

Thaco has been gradually acquiring shares in the company, and currently owns 26.29 percent, up from 7.86 percent in May 2019.

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