ContainersGreater China

Antong shareholders’ debt amounts to $1.1bn

The controlling shareholders of Chinese domestic container shipping operator Antong Holdings, Guo Dongsheng and Guo Dongze, are currently dealing with a serious financial crisis after Guo Dongze’s illegal guarantee scandal was disclosed.

The Guo brothers, the founders of Antong Holdings, together hold 54.32% shares in the company and the shares are currently frozen by courts at the requests of a number of creditors.

In June, Guo Dongze, chairman of Antong, was found to have provided RMB2.07bn ($293m) worth of guarantees with the company’s funds without legal procedures. The amount accounted for about 61% of the company’s total audited assets.

Since then, lawsuits against the company have been stacking up and the company has voluntarily issued a risk warning on its stock trading.

According to Antong, currently total liabilities of the Guo brothers amount to RMB8bn ($1.1bn).

In late July, Guo Dongze transferred his 29.99% voting right to Chengtong Lakeshore Investment Management, a distressed asset management company, through a proxy agreement. The Shanghai Stock Exchange questioned the justification of the move and asked the company to provide a detailed explanation.

Antong Holding is the largest domestic container shipping company in China as well as the 15th largest container shipping company in the world according to Alphaliner ranking, controlling a fleet of 123 ships with total capacity of 148,264 teu. The company went listing on Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2016 through a back-door listing after it acquired chemical trader Heihua Group.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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