Wednesday, August 5, 2020
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

Vitasoy dynast ups Esprit stake
 
09/07/2020
 
Karen Lo Ki-yan, a descendent of Vitasoy International's (0345) founder and the wife of veteran investor Eugene Chuang Yue-chien, has become the biggest shareholder of Esprit (0330). Lo raised the shareholding of Esprit to 12.89 percent from 4.93 percent. The shareholding of Lo rose from 93.18 million shares to 243 million shares, while the disclosed proportion of shareholding was over 5 percent. The substantial shareholder also bought 150 million shares of the group at HK$0.8029 last Friday, involving around HK$120 million. The recent holdings of Lo managed to surpass that of Michael Ying Lee-yuen, the former chairman and chief executive of Esprit - with Ying having given away shares to his daughters in October 2017. Ying's daughters held 11.22 percent shareholding of the company. Share of Esprit rose 4.76 percent to HK$0.88 yesterday. The company has also announced a redevelopment plan early this month, including a layoff plan and store closures, to save HK$900 million. Lo's grandfather is the founder of Vitasoy, Lo Kwee-seong. Vitasoy's net profit fell 23 percent for the financial year ending in March, with the group emphasizing that its growth rate will improve with the resumption of schools.
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