LISTED tuna cannery Alliance Select Foods International Inc. is set to hold a stockholders’ meeting today despite continuing issues and conflict among its board of directors.
In a statement, the company’s Singaporean minority bloc headed by Hedy Yap-Chua said the stockholders’ meeting today will be an avenue to air out concerns regarding the conflict between the Singaporean investor and the current board of directors.
“Alliance Select… has been incurring losses consistently for the past several years, compounded by an ongoing boardroom dispute between the minority and majority blocs amidst allegations of mismanagement by the board of directors,” Yap-Chua said.
“The controlling bloc of Alliance Select has in past months been accused of barring shareholder access to financial books, window-dressing quarterly reports, and railroading the entry of a new majority stakeholder in Strong Oak Inc.,” it read.
“The hasty entry of Strong Oak led to the ouster of Dr. Albert Hong Hin Kay from the Alliance board, leaving Hedy Yap-Chua as the sole minority shareholder on the board,” it added.
It was recalled that before the conflict began, the Singaporean investors held a 34 percent minority stake in Alliance Select which entitled both Albert Hong Hin Kay and Hedy Yap-Chua two seats as independent directors.
The problem started when the company took in a $12.9-million purchase deal last year from the sale of 500 million unissued shares to investment fund Strong Oak, resulting in a dilution of shares of existing investors.
This reduced the Singaporeans’ stake to 24 percent from 34 percent which led to the removal of Albert Hong Hin Kay, who a fellow Singaporean independent director of Yap-Chua.
Alliance Select also conducted a P1-billion stock rights offer last August, which the Singaporean investors claimed to be done without due consultation and the permission of independent directors.
The share sale again diluted the Singaporeans’ stake to 12 percent.
The Yap-Chua camp said the stockholders meeting will proceed today, 2 p.m., followed by a roundtable discussion.
Formerly Alliance Tuna International Inc., Alliance Select was incorporated in 2003 as a seafood processor which exports canned seafood products to Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and South America. Its products include institutional and retail packed canned tuna, smoked salmon, salmon by-products and fishmeal.
The company has a main facility in General Santos City through BGB, and is globally present via international subsidiaries in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO