BEIJING, February 16 (TMTPOST) – Bao Fan, the founder, Chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of China Renaissance, has been taken away by the authorities to provide cooperation during a probe into company president Cong Lin, who has been investigated for a few months, a person close to an insider of the company told TMTPost.
Bao has disappeared from the public following his attendance of the 2022 Future Science Awards ceremony last December.
Accoridng to an announcement made by China Renaissance to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors has learned that Bao, the Board Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and the controlling shareholder of the company, cannot be reached by the company.
“The board is unaware of any information that shows the connection or possible connection between his disappearance and the business and operations of the company. Meanwhile, the company’s business and operations are going as usual,” said the announcement.
TMTPost has learned that Cong, the president of the financial institution, was taken away last September for suspected irregularities in a transaction related to ship leasing. He had worked at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a state-owned large bank, prior to joining China Renaissance.
According to an announcement on the website of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Bao increased equity holding by 108,000 shares to become a shareholder with a 48.81% stake on October 7, 2022.
With Bao’s absence from day-to-day operations may have an impact on the financial institution that played a major role in mergers and acquisitions in China’s capital markets. China Renaissance disclosed in its interim report in September 2022 that a compulsory debt repayment to the Hong Kong Branch of the Bank of Communications will be triggered if Bao is no longer the chair or the largest single shareholder of the financial institution. In May 2021, China Renaissance signed a financing agreement with the Bank of Communications, under which a loan of up to US$300 million will be granted to China Renaissance.
Bao founded China Renaissance in 2005 after working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. The company initially engaged in providing PE-related financial advisory services. Later on, it served as financial advisors to companies operating in the new economy industry. In 2015, China Renaissance participated in 13 mergers and acquisitions in China’s Internet industry, including the high-profile merger of Didi and Kuaidi that changed the landscape of China’s ride-sharing service sector.
In 2016, China Renaissance obtaiend a securities brokerage license in mainland China. Its securities brokerage firm has never made the list of top 50 Chinese brokerage firms.