Medical City row goes in new direction
The camp of The Medical City’s ousted president yesterday dared the new board chair to disclose the terms and conditions of a loan he obtained from another investor to allegedly illegally take control of the medical institution.
In a statement, Dr. Alfredo Bengzon said his nephew, Jose Xavier Gonzales, who was also the treasurer and the heir apparent set to succeed him as CEO, obtained a $38-million loan extended by a Singapore-based investor and which was used to fund the acquisition of shares in Professional Services Inc. (PSI), the holding firm which controls the hospital.
The Medical City is now under the physical control of Gonzales since they staged a board coup three weeks ago, and subsequently obtained a court order to preserve the prevailing status quo.
Bengzon called on Gonzales “to bare the truth” regarding the “real intention” of the loan from Viva Holdings, saying the transaction may have “failed to protect the interest of the company and other stockholders.” Viva Holdings is identified with the Clermont Group, an international finance services and retail conglomerate.
Bengzon earlier filed a complaint before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) questioning the validity of the acquisition of a 54-percent stake in PSI by Gonzales’ companies and Viva Holdings.
In his petition, Bengzon said the group, through “fraudulent, deceptive and manipulative actions, acquired and increased their shareholding from at least 35 percent to more than 50 percent.”
Bengzon said Gonzales had admitted that the $38-million loan given him by Viva funded the acquisition of PSI shares by Gonzales’ holding company in 2013. Gonzales has also reportedly admitted that this loan had since been “satisfied.”
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