The same individuals behind the world's first hostile takeover battle for a mainland firm, Harbin Brewery Group, have swapped beer and politics for ladies' handbags. Barely 12 months ago, Peter Lo, Peter Jeva Au and David Sun titillated Hong Kong's equity market with a racy takeover battle that pitted two international beer giants against each other. South African giant SABMiller eventually bowed out of the fight, taking $1.64 billion from rival Anheuser-Busch for its stake in the mainland company. Harbin Brewery executives Mr Lo and Mr Au made little secret of their support for Anheuser-Busch, while Mr Sun played a key middleman role in a deal that hit the headlines around the globe. The three had been linked together through an US$80 million fund, China Enterprise Capital (CEC). More recently, the trio has decided to move in on a little-known luggage and handbag manufacturer whose chairman has been arrested for allegedly pilfering $20 million. The executives have, however, declined to say if bigger plans are brewing for debt-ridden Wealthmark International (Holdings), with a takeover bid on the table for stakeholders. CEC, through 80 per cent beneficially owned Orientelite Investments, in April agreed to buy a 75 per cent stake in the handbag firm for $4 million. This triggered a mandatory general offer, with investors being offered 2.67 cents per share, a 95.23 per cent discount to the stock's last closing price on April 11. Independent adviser Partners Capital yesterday dubbed the deal unfair and recommended it be rejected. However, given the company's losses and the 'incident' of the former chairman - Wong Chor-sang has been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for allegedly plundering $20.8 million from the company - shareholders may vote otherwise. Orientelite has said it will maintain the existing business of Wealthmark. It does intend to pursue additional manufacturing opportunities and identify new investment targets. Those familiar with CEC's work expect a mainland injection, probably from the food and beverage or consumer goods sector. However, beer is unlikely to be on the menu.