Divorce Sends Chinese Shampoo Maker on Roller Coaster RideBy
Wife of BaWang chairman seeks to wind up controlling firm
BaWang revenue has plunged more than 80% since 2009 IPO
BaWang International Group Holding Ltd., known for a shampoo commercial featuring movie star Jackie Chan, surged as much as 32 percent in Hong Kong after plunging 31 percent Wednesday amid a divorce between its husband-and-wife founders.
Wan Yuhua, former chief executive and wife of chairman Chen Qiyuan, said in tears at a Wednesday briefing that she is divorcing Chen and seeking Hong Kong courts to liquidate a company that controls BaWang. Wan is a shareholder of Fortune Station, which owns about 60 percent of BaWang, according to the company’s interim report published in September.
BaWang, which went public in 2009, has seen its market value shrink to about $100 million from more than $2 billion in 2010. Sales declined while the company battled Hong Kong’s Next Magazine in a defamation case which lasted for about six years. Although BaWang won the suit in 2016, its revenue has slumped more than 80 percent since 2009 to 236 million yuan ($36.1 million) for the 12 months through June 30, 2017.
A hearing of Wan’s petition to wind up Fortune Station will be held Feb. 28, Bawang said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday. Wan and Chen are in the middle of divorce proceedings, the statement said. Wan’s winding-up petition has no material impact to BaWang’s business so far, according to the company.