UPDATE: Sunpower: Substantial shareholders obtain injunction to prevent dealing in collateral shares

A Singapore 10-dollar note Photo by Leslie Shaffer

Sunpower Group said on Tuesday that two substantial shareholders, who are company executives, had obtained an interim injunction to halt lender America 2030 from selling or otherwise dealing in company shares which were used as collateral for personal loans.

The company also said that the two shareholders had lodged a report with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force over the loan agreement with America 2030.

“The board has been given to understand that the decision by the borrowers to approach and lodge a report with the CAD was self-initiated and voluntary,” Sunpower said. “The board wishes to reiterate to the Shareholders that the group is not involved in any of the above matters and the business and operations of the group are not affected by the foregoing.”

In response to Shenton Wire’s request for comment on Wednesday, Val Sklarov, president and CEO of America 2030, said via email, “we are confident that the arbitration proceedings we initiated will set the record straight.”

He added that America 2030 had filed for defamation, libel and slander arbitration against the two Sunpower executives and that the matter had been brought to the attention of the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Sklarov also pointed to one of two press releases from America 2030 in which the lender said it would “aggressively defend its reputation and the enforcement of contracts executed by the two executives.”

That statement added, “America 2030 represents that it acted in good faith at all times and strictly in accordance with the loan contracts.”

In November, Sunpower had issued a statement that two substantial shareholders — Guo Hongxin, executive chairman of Sunpower, and Ma Ming, executive director — had placed 14 million Sunpower shares each, or around 1.89 percent of the company’s total issued shares, as collateral to a depository broker designated by the lender, America 2030 Capital. Guo and Ma’s loans, which were not disbursed, were for their personal use, Sunpower said earlier this month.

In the November statement, Sunpower said the two shareholders told the company on 3 November the shares were no longer in the depository broker account.

But America 2030 Capital said that the borrowers had failed to comply with the terms of the loans and that it retained control of the collateral, in accordance with the executed contracts.

“The collateral was forfeited due to borrowers’ failure to pay the amounts owed to lender in accordance with the loan agreements,” Sklarov had said in November.

The two shareholders didn’t immediately respond to Shenton Wire’s request for comment, which was sent via Sunpower.

This article was originally published on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at 7:44 A.M. SGT; it has since been updated to include comments from America 2030 and its President and CEO Val Sklarov.

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