HK 'white knight' in bid to save Fu Ji Food

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 February, 2010, 12:00am

The 'white knight' consortium headed by local investor Stanley Choi Chiu-fai submitted a tender to buy bankrupt mainland caterer Fu Ji Food and Catering Services Holdings yesterday.

As a gesture of sincerity, the consortium was willing to place a HK$200 million deposit in a designated account agreed by the provisional liquidator if its tender was accepted, said a person with knowledge of the deal.

The consortium hoped the due diligence could be completed within 30 working days, the person added.

Fu Ji Food's provisional liquidator, Derek Lai Kar-yan of accountancy Deloitte, could not be reached for comment last night.

The submission came a week after Choi, an executive director of financial services provider Simsen International, announced that he and two partners - Cai Dabiao, the founder of mainland fast-food chain Real Kungfu, and Hong Kong-listed HyComm Wirelessfast - had formed a venture to bid for the Olympic Games caterer last Tuesday.

Choi said they had HK$1 billion to fund the purchase and future operations of Fu Ji. Choi holds a 50 per cent stake in the consortium.

The three-party consortium is the second 'white knight' to show interest in the Shanghai-based caterer, which filed a winding-up petition in October last year after failing to repay HK$2.2 billion of convertible bonds it sold to global investors.

Hong Kong Resources chairman Wong Ying-ho also announced a plan to join Tan Changan, founder of Sichuan-style hotpot chain Tanyutou, to buy the company last month.