DOJ drops case against Alliance Select on opening of books
THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed charges filed by a group of Singapore-based minority shareholders against Alliance Select Foods International’s top officials who had allegedly conspired to prevent them from scrutinizing the books of this seafood producer.
In March last year, the foreign shareholders sued four board members of Alliance – George Sycip, Alvin Dee, Jonathan Dee and Ibarra Malonzo – for alleged denial of shareholders’ rights to inspect the corporate records and minutes of the meetings, thus citing violation of provisions under the Corporation Code.
The complainants were Harvest All Investment Ltd., Victory Fund Ltd., and Bondeast Private Ltd. as represented by Chiew Chee Chong. This is a group of shareholders critical of Alliance Select’s management team.
Sycip was then the company chair and an independent director while Jonathan Dee was the company’s president and chief executive officer. Malonzo was a representative of the state-controlled pension fund Social Security System.
Jonathan Dee has since then given up the president/CEO post and is now company chair. SSS’ Malonzo no longer sits on the Alliance board.
Based on a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, the DOJ subsequently consolidated this lawsuit with another case filed in February last year by the same group against Alliance corporate secretary Annsley Bangkas and Sycip. The complaint alleged that Bangkas and Sycip had denied the group access to company records. In the same disclosure, Alliance cited a DOJ resolution dated July 28 dismissing both cases.
Recently, the same group of complaint at the Pasig Regional Trial Court to prevent Alliance from pursuing a stock rights offering. The petition was dismissed by the court for “lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case.” The company has thus raised P1 billion in fresh capital from the sale of new shares to existing shareholders.
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