Convoy to grant share options for staff retention

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2017, 9:31pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2017, 9:44pm

Convoy Global Holdings, the financial advisory firm at the centre of Hong Kong’s largest graft crackdown in a decade, has proposed to grant share options to more than 800 of its consultants, corporate staff and executives, involving 1.49 billion ordinary shares, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday.

The exercise price will be the highest of either the closing price of the stock on the date the options are granted, or the average closing price for the five business days immediately before the day the options are granted, or at nominal value of 10 HK cents per share.

Shares of Convoy were suspended on December 7, after its stock dropped 7.2 per cent to 16.7 HK cents on media reports that the city’s anti-graft body had raided its office.

Management of Convoy had said earlier this month it would spend HK$300 million (US$38.41 million) to hire more financial advisers and pay bonus to retain staff amid the ongoing corporate crisis. The company said it will make another announcement when the options are formally granted.

Convoy is suing its former chairman and related parties involved in a complex network of companies tied to the company’s HK$4.043 billion private placement in 2015, the South China Morning Post reported earlier this month. It is seeking unspecified damages from 28 defendants, these include former chairman Quincy Wong Lee-man, former vice-chairman Rosetta Fong Sut-sum, former director Christie Chan Lai-yee and Lerado Financial Group chairman Mark Mak Kwong-yiu, a former chief executive of Convoy – all of whom were arrested by the Securities and Futures Commission and Independent Commission Against Corruption earlier this month.

Former Convoy director, Roy Cho Kwai-chee, was also named one of the defendants. Cho, according to the writ, was the mastermind behind a number of placements to create a “false and/or misleading appearance” to all that Convoy had raised HK$4.043 billion for its business development but the money was soon circulated back to other companies in Cho’s network, causing “substantial loss and damage” to Convoy.