China’s Yingde says CEO resigns, will remain as director: Reuters

Yingde Gases Group Co Ltd said on Monday Chief Executive He Yuanping has resigned and will remain a director of the company until the completion of a strategic review that may result in the sale of one of China’s largest industrial gases firms.

He stepped down “due to his personal work commitments,” Yingde said in a securities filing without providing further details. The company, which had revealed He’s plans to resign in a Feb. 21 filing, said its board will look for a new CEO and make an announcement in due course.

The company has been involved in a takeover battle in recent months rarely seen in Hong Kong, with the latest twist taking place last week when Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG agreed to buy the combined 42.1 percent stake of co-founders Zhao Xiangti, Sun Zhongguo and Trevor Strutt for $616 million.

Sun and Strutt, previously the Chairman/CEO and chief operating officer of Yingde, respectively, were relieved from their posts during a November board meeting that named Zhao chairman of the company and have since been in a legal fight to be reinstated.

U.S. industrial gas maker Air Products in late December made a takeover approach of as much as $1.5 billion in cash for Yingde.