Caixin
May 29, 2018 05:17 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Citic Unit Takes Board Chairmanship in CEFC Europe

CEFC China Energy has scrambled since founder Ye Jianming was reportedly under investigation. Photo: VCG
CEFC China Energy has scrambled since founder Ye Jianming was reportedly under investigation. Photo: VCG

(Reuters) — A unit of China’s state-owned Citic Group has taken over the chairmanship position at CEFC Europe, a Czech-based part of the troubled Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy, CEFC Europe said Monday.

Ren Xia, executive director of Rainbow Wisdom, a unit of Citic, was named to the board and elected chairwoman, according to a statement on CEFC Europe’s website.

The move showed that CITIC is proceeding with a plan to take at least partial control over CEFC assets. On Friday, CITIC repaid around 12 billion crowns ($544 million) of debt on behalf of the CEFC group to Czech banking and private equity group J&T.

CEFC Europe said earlier that Citic would take a 49% interest in the Czech assets. A CEFC Europe spokesman said Monday he could not confirm what the final shape of the deal would be.

The board replacement means that a crisis management team put in by creditors J&T earlier this month is leaving the firm.

Assets of CEFC Europe include Czech charter airline Travel Service, owner of the national carrier Czech Airlines; brewery group Lobkowicz; hotels and office buildings; the machinery company Zdas; and first-division soccer club Slavia Prague.

The company has been rattled by the financial woes of the parent CEFC China Energy, following the investigation of founder and chairman Ye Jianming for suspected economic crimes earlier this year.

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