Sam Goi Seng Hui has taken control of Hanwell Holdings after shareholders at this morning’s AGM re-elected him but turfed out two existing executive directors.

Goi, recently appointed non-executive chairman of the company, received an overwhelming 94.67% of the votes in favour of his re-election. John Chen, the current non-executive deputy chairman, received 75.11% in favour of his re-appointment.

In contrast, 55.34% voted against the re-appointment of executive director Coco Tang Cheuk Chee. Shareholders also did not re-elect Yeo See Liang, who was appointed as an executive director just barely two months ago, with 55.30% against.

As such, both Tang and Yeo are no longer Hanwell directors but will remain as executives until the company decides otherwise.

In a statement, Goi says he is grateful for this chance to help chart the future of the company, which distributes various consumer staples such as rice, tofu and other foodstuffs under household brands such as Royal Umbrella, Fortune and also tissue paper brand Beautex. 

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“I firmly believe Hanwell has a strong set of brand assets and the potential to expand the scale of its business and to grow regionally. This change in leadership is an opportunity for Hanwell to reposition itself and reset its growth strategy,” says Goi.

“Where possible, I will offer the relevant knowledge, experience and network to help strengthen overall leadership and corporate governance in the company, which will ultimately benefit all shareholders,” he adds.

In the lead up to the AGM, both Goi and Tang had been steadily increasing their stakes in the company. According to the latest filings, Goi owns 22.67% and Tang owns 19.4%, making him and her the second and third largest shareholder respectively.

The single largest shareholder, Violet Profit Holdings, which holds 24.23%, is under liquidation and thus not entitled to vote.

Goi, who holds stakes in many other listed companies, believes that that Hanwell was suffering from a leadership void under Tang and her recently divorced husband, Allan Yap. 

Yap resigned as executive chairman last September after a Hong Kong court declared him bankrupt. Besides leaving Hanwell, Yap also quit as executive chairman of Tat Seng Packaging Group, a separately-listed company in which Hanwell holds 64%.

After Yap left, Goi had sought the role of Hanwell’s executive chairman, offering to take a token remuneration of just $1 a year, but was rebuffed by the previous board. Goi is likely to bring onboard new directors with relevant experience.

Tang's ouster from Hanwell has yet to affect her position at Tat Seng. At the AGM held after Hanwell's on April 29, Tang was re-elected as a director with an overwhelming 99.81% for.  

Hanwell shares closed at 48 cents on April 29, unchanged from the preceding day.