Sino-Forest Brass Departs In Advance Of OSC Charges
Three Sino-Forest Corp. executives were fired by the insolvent Chinese timber firm and the company’s co-founder and chief financial officer both resigned, in a prelude to formal allegations expected to be laid by the Ontario Securities Commission, The Globe and Mail reported. Allen Chan, the Hong Kong national who co-founded Sino-Forest two decades ago and helped build what was once the largest forestry company on the TSX, resigned as “founding chairman emeritus” and an employee, the company said in a statement. Mr. Chan informed Sino-Forest’s board of directors he wished to resign after he received an enforcement notice from the OSC earlier this month indicating the regulator was close to laying out its case that he and other Sino-Forest executives misled investors. The resignation marks the formal severing of ties between Toronto-based Sino-Forest and the man who was a key architect of its timber business in mainland China. Sino-Forest has put its assets up for sale and the company said Mr. Chan indicated he “remains available” to assist helping stakeholders “realize value in relation to assets located in the People’s Republic of China.” Three other executives, Alfred Hung, vice-president of planning and banking, George Ho, vice-president of finance and Simon Yeung, a vice-president of operations of subsidiary Sino-Panel (Asia) Inc., were fired, Sino-Forest said. Albert Ip, a senior vice-president who had previously resigned, willnot serve as a consultant to the company. These executives, like Mr. Chan, also received enforcement notices from the OSC in early April, indicating the regulator was preparing formal allegations against them and the company. According to Sino-Forest, the OSC has zeroed in on potential breaches of the provincial securities act relating to fraud, market manipulation and making untrue or misleading statements. Read more.