(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- Founder Securities Co. [SHA:601901], a brokerage firm, filed lawsuits against several shareholders of cash-strapped internet company Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. [SHE:300104] for failing to repay stock-based loans. The total value of related cases lodged by Founder is CNY317 million (USD47.92 million), the firm said in a statement yesterday.
The value of the two major cases involving nonperformance of stock pledge agreements signed with Leshi’s vice general manager Liu Hong and former chief financial officer (CFO) Yang Lijie is CNY192 million, per the statement.
Liu borrowed CNY100 million from the brokerage after pledging 17 million shares in Leshi, and Yang took out a loan of CNY80 million collateralized with 12.32 million shares. As Leshi’s financials deteriorated, Founder Securities asked them to buy back the shares, but none of them complied. The company filed lawsuits to enforce the request, demanding that both borrowers clear the principals and interest and pay damages for breach of contract.
Liu was Leshi’s third largest shareholder with a shareholding of 122 million shares at the end of September. Yang acted as the CFO since 2008 and resigned in May for personal reasons. Her shareholding was 9.36 million shares at the end of last year.
After a cash crisis broke out at Leshi and the ensuing trading suspension, many financial institutions have slashed the firm’s valuation to as low as CNY3.89 per share. Calculated based on the current share price estimate, Liu’s and Yang’s pledged shares are worth CNY66.13 million and CNY47.94 million, respectively.