Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Richard Li rebuked

On the "Asian values" front ....

Richard Li was rebuked by a court in Hong Kong last month, in a decision only made public this weekm for jiggering the voting rules in his favor at PCCW, the telecomm company once known as Pacific Century Cyberworks.

Li isn't satisfied with being the largest stockholder at PCCW. He wants, in conjunction with China Unicom, to buy out the others and take it private. He pushed the deal through a shareholder meetingm but then Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission stepped in, alleging unfair treatment of the minority shareholders.

It is intriguing that Li's partner in this, and PCCW's second-largest shareholder, is China Unicom. It implies that the HK regulators were standing up both to Li (the scion of a powerful family -- according to Forbes, Li's father is the world's 16th wealthiest man) and to Beijing -- a gutsy move. The lower court upheld Li's tactics as legal, but the SFC appeals.

At any rate, the Court of Appeals ruled on the case last month, and its decision is a pat on the back for the SFC, a sharp rebuke for Li. (Li has an option of appealing further, and is said to be considering it.)

You can read more about the case here.

And you can read about an earlier episode in the history of Richard Li and Pacific Century Cyberworks in my other blog.

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