(Yicai Global) Sept. 24 -- A court in China has handed a former chairman of Kweichow Moutai Group, a Chinese state-backed distillery giant, a life sentence for taking more than CNY100 million (USD15.5 million) in bribes.
Yuan Renguo was found guilty of accepting the bribes between 1994 and 2018, the Guiyang Intermediate People's Court in Guizhou province said via WeChat late yesterday, adding that Yuan took advantage of his position to help others secure distribution rights and increase the allocation of its highly sought-after liquor.
Yuan was arrested after being dismissed from his position in May 2019. Following his fall, the Guizhou-based company started an anti-corruption sweep that shook out its executive and dealer teams. In excess of a dozen of its executives have been investigated over more than two years.
The properties that Yuan illegally obtained have been turned over to the State Treasury, and all his personal property was confiscated, the court said.
Shares of Kweichow Moutai’s listed arm [SHA:600519] closed up 3.6 percent at HKD1,694 (USD217.60) today, after earlier jumping as much as 5.1 percent.
Li Baofang and Gao Weidong served as chairman after Yuan. Ding Xiongjun was handed the job on Aug. 30, after having worked for the Guizhou Energy Administration.
Kweichow Moutai Group is controlled by Guizhou’s state-owned assets manager and has more than 36,000 employees. Last year the firm reported CNY74.5 billion (USD11.5 billion) in net profit and CNY114 billion (USD17.6 billion) in operating income.
Editor: Futura Costaglione