Fosun’s missing chair reappears after 4-day disappearance
Fosun Group chairman Guo Guangchang came back just as mysteriously as he disappeared.
The man the press nicknamed China’s Warren Buffet, delivered a 10-minute speech at his company’s annual meeting Monday, four days after going missing, an executive who attended the event said.
On Friday, Chinese news agency Caixin reported the closely held company had been unable to reach Guo since midday on Dec. 10. Caixin reporters tried to call him during that period, but his phone was turned off.
Guo, the founder of Fosun Group, is China’s 17th richest man with a net worth of $5.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Fosun Group owns Club Mediterranee and a stake in Cirque du Soleil, as well as interests in insurance, real estate, pharmaceutical and commodities. Fosun International announced 16 deals worth a combined 29 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In its Friday report, Caixin said messages on social media sites claimed Guo was seen being escorted by police at an airport in Shanghai, but the reason was unknown. Since, 2013, Guo, 48, has repeatedly refuted claims that he was subject to a graft investigation. However, in the wake of the summer’s stock market rout, the authorities have intensified their anti-corruption campaign to root out manipulation in the stock market.
On Friday, six of Fosun’s listed companies suspended trading of their shares and issued statements saying that Guo was helping prosecutors with an investigation, but they gave no other details, said Caixin. When trading resumed on Monday, the stocks of all six firms’ saw their prices decline.
Fosun’s CEO and vice chairman, Liang Xinjun, said on December 13 that Guo was in Shanghai helping prosecutors verify facts related to an inquiry. Liang added that Guo was still making decisions related to Fosun and its subsidiaries, according to Caixin.
The conglomerate is in good financial shape, Liang said. It had 37 billion yuan in cash at the end of June and its debt-to-asset ratio was 50.7%, lower than the figure at the beginning of the year, he said.