NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sino Agro Food Inc. (OTCMKTS: SIAF) A New York Federal Court today approved a settlement in a lawsuit against Sino Agro Food Inc. of China, paving the way for independent board seats for shareholders who brought the action, and a corporate governance overhaul, among other concessions from the Company.
“We invested in Sino Agro Food because we saw a significant opportunity for aquaculture in China,” stated Peter Halesworth, Manager of the Heng Ren funds. “Sino Agro Food’s aquaculture farms were touted as potentially being among the most productive in the world. About a year ago total shareholders’ equity was reported at $712 million. Today Sino Agro Food’s market value is $12 million. We are eager to reverse the Company’s decline and unlock its potential value.”
The Court announced Tuesday his approval of the settlement agreement during a court hearing held remotely. Heng Ren and Mr. Arne Fredly of Apollo Asset Ltd. were represented by attorney Angus F. Ni of AFN Law.
“This welcome approval by the court is the result of our years of effort to correct problems that have hurt the company and its shareholders. Now is the time to follow through and accomplish the goal of investing – to generate returns,” Mr. Fredly said.
Sino Agro Food announced an agreement with Heng Ren and Mr. Fredly in June. The Court ultimately approved the settlement after ordering public notice and reviewing the comments of shareholders.
Under the now-approved settlement, the shareholders-plaintiffs will:
- Take a board seat at Sino Agro Food.
- A board seat at Sino’s key subsidiary, Tri-way Industries Ltd., of Hong Kong.
- Join the companies’ respective Audit Committees.
- Explore a sale or sunset of the Chairman’s supermajority shares in Sino Agro Food.
- Create a Corporate Governance Committee to review related-party transactions at Sino Agro Food.
- Participate in the search for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Sino Agro Food.
- Cease the issuance of new shares to collateralize loans, and only with the unanimous approval of the respective boards.
In approving the settlement, the Court cited the initiative of the shareholders to remedy corporate governance issues, such as shareholder dilution, as a positive step in an attempt to turn around Sino Agro Food.
SOURCE AFN Law PLLC; Heng Ren Partners