Huang Representatives in Talks With Gome on 400 Private Stores

Billionaire Huang Guangyu’s representatives are talking with Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd. about continuing the company’s procurement and management agreements with his 400 privately owned stores.

Company founder Huang, serving a 14-year sentence in Beijing, hopes to reach a binding accord in a “reasonable time to solve the problems Gome is facing,” Zou Xiaochun, a corporate lawyer for Huang, said yesterday.

Huang, Gome’s largest shareholder, still wants to ensure the Hong Kong-listed company’s competitiveness, Zou said in an e-mail exchange. Still, “no substantial conclusion has been made yet” in discussions with the board and investors, he said.

Last month, Huang failed to convince investors to oust current Gome Chairman Chen Xiao in favor of his own candidate. In August, Huang said he would end the agreements with the listed company if shareholders didn’t back him.

Huang wants Gome to open stores at a quicker pace and acquire brands, Zou said Sept. 11. Suning Appliance Co., China’s largest home-appliance retailer, had 1,075 stores as of June 30, compared with 740 for Gome.

Gome’s shareholders voted in favor of Huang’s proposal last month to cancel a share-sale mandate in a special general meeting. His proposals to appoint his sister Huang Yanhong and his corporate lawyer Zou as executive directors were rejected.

Huang still “hopes to nominate” Zou and his sister as directors because they worked for Gome for about 10 years, Zou said.

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