BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) - A court has ordered China’s Ambow Education Holdings Ltd into provisional liquidation, a move that could end months of wrangling between the CEO and external shareholders that include Avenue Capital, Baring Asia and Macquarie.
A court in the Cayman Islands issued the order for New York-listed Ambow, a private schools and career training company, and appointed members of KPMG as the provisional liquidators, according to a June 10 Ambow statement.
The move comes after Avenue Capital Group, Ambow’s biggest independent shareholder, filed an April 23 petition at the court accusing the Beijing-based company’s Chief Executive and President Jin Huang of blocking an internal investigation into alleged sham transactions and kickbacks.
Macquarie Group Ltd and Baring Asia Private Equity, Ambow’s other leading outside shareholders, supported the petition. Ambow has said there was no basis for Avenue’s accusations.
According to the June 10 statement, the court order dismisses Ambow’s board of directors and empowers the provisional liquidators to take control of its books and records and conduct company business.
The liquidators also are authorised to oversee the company’s investigation “into allegations of mismanagement and misconduct”, the statement added.
Ambow’s stock had lost 87 percent of its value in the year to March 22, when its shares were suspended on the New York Stock Exchange.
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