(Yicai Global) April 10 -- Smoke bombs, high-pressure water cannons and pepper spray were used in a recent heated battle for company control at Shanshui Cement Group Ltd. [HKG:0691], headquartered in Jinan in the northern province of Shandong.
The spat was the latest of conflicts in an ongoing clash that began when company shares were suspended from trading in April 2015.
In 2015, Tianrui Group became a major shareholder, taking control of the company from original controllers Zhang Caikui and his son. A year later, the group came into conflict with ex-management, represented by Mi Jingtian, the former vice chairman of Shanshui Cement who helped Tianrui join the company.
Two days ago, Mi organized a posse of more than 600 people to storm Shanshui's headquarters, driving a loader into the front corridor of the company's office building, the Securities Times reported. Police intervened and the local government sent around a thousand police officers to control the situation.
Part of the company's office building was illegally occupied by Mi and his team, Shanshui Cement said in a statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company's directors were held for more than two hours, it added, saying directors were attacked with pepper spray, smoke bombs and high-pressure water cannons.
Mi denied the statement, adding that the company chairman, Liao Yaoqiang, and other directors were involved in organizing the occupation of the headquarters, Sina Finance reported earlier today.
In December 2015, past and then present shareholders of Shanshui Cement were involved in violent conflicts over control of the company. Former company directors, in collaboration with a local gang, forced their way into the office building to destroy property and attack employees.
As well as being trapped in control disputes, the firm has also been found of violating regulations regarding the public issuance of bonds in the interbank market, involving around CNY5.6 billion (USD811 million).