August 24, 2018 / 5:34 AM / 3 months ago

China to prosecute former Bright Food chairman for graft

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will prosecute the former chairman of state-owned conglomerate Bright Food Group Co Ltd [SHMNGA.UL] for corruption after a probe found he had accepted bribes and abused his power, the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog said on Friday.

Lu Yongjie, Bright’s chairman until the end of 2015, was put under investigation in May.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement that Lu had been expelled from the party and handed over to legal authorities after a probe found serious discipline violations.

The probe found Lu had accepted bribes and abused his power, the commission said, adding that he had also appropriated public funds and acted against the investigation.

It was not possible to reach Lu or a legal representative for comment. Bright declined to comment.

Bright, the parent of Bright Dairy and Food Co Ltd (600597.SS), was an active global dealmaker under Lu, cutting deals for British cereal maker Weetabix, Australian dairy Mundella Foods and Israeli food group Tnuva among others.

The firm sold Weetabix last year to U.S. firm Post Holdings and has been quiet over the past couple of years.

Lu is among a series of high-profile Chinese executives who have been put under investigation as Beijing looks to rein in risky corporate behavior and high leverage.

Reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom and Brenda Goh; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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