June 1, 2017 / 7:14 AM / 8 months ago

Feuding China cement maker says key shareholder offers to divest stake

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Shanshui Cement Group Ltd (0691.HK), at the center of a bitter boardroom battle involving investors and executives, said on Thursday that a major shareholder had offered to divest its 25 percent stake for around $600 million.

China Shanshui Investment (CSI) has invited three other big shareholders to buy its holding for HK$5.50 per share, the Hong Kong-listed cement maker said in a filing, although it added that there was no certainty that a deal would be done.

The stock has not traded since April 2015 after Tianrui Group raised its stake to become the company’s biggest shareholder and its public float fell below the 25 percent minimum allowed. Its last traded price was HK$6.29.

Since then, hostilities between various parties have erupted. The firm made headlines in April after it said current executives had been attacked with pepper spray and smoke bombs and were held for two hours by associates of a former official when they tried to retake control of company property in eastern China.

Shanshui Cement later obtained a court injunction against the former official and other former executives, who are investors in CSI.

CSI made its offer to sell to Taiwan’s Asia Cement Corporation (1102.TW), China National Building Material Co Ltd (3323.HK), and Tianrui (International) Holding Co Ltd.

Asia Cement, which owns 16 percent of the Shanshui Cement, has also sought to gain control. It originally tried to buy out the company in July 2015 but didn’t follow through with an offer. It said in March that it had a conditional agreement to buy shares in CSI.

    Representatives for Asia Cement and for Tianrui, which owns 28 percent of the firm, could not be reached for comment.

    Chang Zhangli, vice president of China National Building Material, said in an email that there was little clarity about CSI’s offer and whether the shares were fairly valued.

    “It does not help resolve the existing problem but makes the issue even more complicated,” Chang said. “I don’t really understand why they have done it. The information is not clear, and I can’t really judge.”

    Reporting by Donny Kwok; Additional reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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