• Estafa case vs Alliance Select execs dismissed

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    THE Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila (OCP Manila) has cleared officials of Alliance Select Foods International Inc. of the case of syndicated estafa and falsification of public documents filed by the company’s Singaporean stakeholder Hedy Yap-Chua.

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    On Tuesday, Alliance Select received a notice of favorable decision from the OCP Manila, dismissing the cases filed by Yap-Chua against the company’s former and current directors and officers.

    Singaporean investors led by Yap-Chua had claimed that their shareholdings were diluted to 12 percent from their original investment of 34 percent because of some share sale transactions entered into by the company.

    Yap-Chua represents Harvest All Investments Ltd. and Victory Fund, which owned 7 percent and 5 percent in Alliance Select, respectively.

    OCP Manila ruled in favor of Alliance Select directors and officers, citing that the case filed “is bereft of any indication that fraud through false pretenses was committed” based on its assessment of evidence and merits.

    “This resolution issued by the City Prosecutor of Manila is a resounding victory for Alliance Select and our stockholders. It recognizes management’s efforts to attain shareholder value,” Raymond See, Alliance Select president and chief executive officer, said.

    Two years ago, Yap-Chua and fellow Singaporean stakeholder Albert Hong Hin Kay sat as independent directors of Alliance Select’s board as they owned 34 percent of the company.

    The problem started when the company made a $12.9-million purchase deal the same 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, and led to the removal of Hin Kay as independent director.

    Alliance Select also conducted a P1-billion stock rights offer in August 2015, which the Singaporean investors claimed was done without due consultation with the independent directors. The share sale further diluted the Singaporeans’ stake to 12 percent.

    Since the dilution of their shareholdings, the Singaporean bloc via Yap-Chua had filed cases of the same nature in various courts.

    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 operated by its subsidiary Big Glory Bay Salmon and Seafood Company Inc., and is globally present via international subsidiaries in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand.

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