Soho China's billionaire founders step back from leadership roles
Hong Kong-listed Soho China, a prime office developer in major Chinese gateway cities Beijing and Shanghai, announced on Wednesday the resignation of its chairman and CEO, the billionaire founders of the company, who want to "focus on supporting the arts and philanthropic pursuits."
Effective right away, Pan Shiyi stepped down as chairman of the board and quit his role as chairman of the nomination committee and the board's ESG committee. His wife Zhang Xin resigned as chief executive, according to a filing to Hong Kong stock exchange.
The couple, who said that they have no disagreement with the board, will remain executive directors of the company, the filing showed.
The founders' resignations come about one year after US private equity firm Blackstone abandoned its planned US$3 billion acquisition of the Chinese mainland developer.
In June 2021, Blackstone made a HK$5 (64 US cents) per share takeover offer which was over 30 percent above the company's closing price at the time. The US firm hoped to expand the company's presence in China.
However, it did not receive approval for the buyout within a designated time frame from the country's antitrust authorities.
Soho China made the headlines again in July this year when its chief financial officer Ni Kuiyang was confirmed to be under investigation for alleged insider trading of the company's shares.
Huang Jingsheng, an independent non-executive director, has replaced Pan as a non-executive chairman, and as chairman of the nomination committee and the board's ESG committee.
Xu Jin and Qian Ting have succeeded Zhang as executive directors and co-CEOs of the company, according to the filing.