Chinese shareholders get Mwana chair, withdraw petition and take sting out of dissidents’ action

Chinese shareholders get Mwana chair, withdraw petition and take sting out of dissidents’ action

HARARE, June 8 (The Source) – Mwana Africa has appointed Yat Hoi Ning, an associate of its largest shareholder, China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC) as interim chairman after Ning and the CIMGC withdrew a court petition against the pan-African resources group over the appointment of non-executive directors.

He replaces Stuart Morris who also held the post in interim capacity who quit last Friday, along with fellow South African non-executive director, Johan Botha.

His appointment also weakens the petition by an activist shareholder group, led by Ian Dearing and others holding about 5,1 percent of Mwana’s issued share capital, who requisitioned for an extraordinary general meeting set for Tuesday in London. The dissident shareholders seek to eject four directors from the board, citing among other issues, the Mwana board’s tiff with CIMGC and Ning, who collectively hold nearly 16 percent of the group.

The ‘Concerned Shareholders Group’, want the EGM to, among other resolutions, remove the now retired Morris and Botha along with Zimbabweans Ngoni Kudenga and Herbert Mashanyare and replace them with Scott Morrison, Mark Wellesley-Wood, Oliver Barbeau and Anne-Marie Chidzero.

“Mwana is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Yat Hoi Ning as chairman of the company with immediate effect,” announced the AIM listed firm on its website.

“Mr Yat Hoi Ning, who has been a Non-Executive Director of Mwana, will fulfil this role until a new Chairman has been appointed.”

Mwana had earlier announced that CIMGC and Ning had settled with the company all claims with respect to their petition issued in the Companies Court on December 8 last year.

Mwana’s romance with the Chinese started in 2012 when CIMGC came in with a $21 million investment to restart Mwana’s Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) which had collapsed at the height of the country’s economic meltdown.

The relationship soured last year, with CIMGC and Ning disputing the appointment of Stuart Morris, Johan Botha, Kudenga and Mashanyare as non-executive directors of the company.

The petition was suspended by the court until June 15 this year to enable the parties to reach an agreement.

Both CIMGC and Ning were not part of the requisition by the activist shareholders.

In addition to his new Mwana Africa post, Ning is the founder of a number of mining companies including Congo International Mining Corporation SPRL, African PGM Processing SPRL and Fareast Nickel Mining Corporation.

He is also chairman of CIMGC, Hoi Mor Industrial (Group) Limited and Hong Kong Mining Exchange Company Limited.