Baker McKenzie recently assisted Asian Citrus Holdings Limited ("Asian Citrus" or "Company") to successfully resume trading of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange starting 1 September 2020. This marks an important case in Hong Kong where a listed company resumed trading of its shares under the city's new delisting regime, and that the Listing Committee's decision to cancel the listing has been overturned under the new review structure.
Asian Citrus is a fruit company principally engaged in the planting, cultivation and sales of agriculture produce and the distribution of various high-quality fruits in the PRC. Trading of the Company's shares has been suspended since 29 September 2016.
The Baker McKenzie team was led by Partner Lawrence Lee with support from Special Counsel Betty Wong and associates Bonnie Lau and Stephanie Mak, all of whom are in the Capital Markets Practice based in Hong Kong. The team worked with the Company's senior management and took a leading role in devising resumption strategies that fulfill the conditions imposed by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In particular, the team had lead responsibility for overseeing the independent special investigation process for allegations, advising on the restructuring of the relevant group, and handling the legal and regulatory aspects of the resumption process and the review hearing. The team also worked closely with auditors and the financial adviser in the publication of outstanding financial statements and in addressing audit qualifications, and was responsible for ongoing communications with the regulator.
"The recent reform in the city's delisting regime and review structure has added more challenges to the resumption path. Moreover, the challenging business environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has created another layer of complexity as we work with our client to ensure that they meet the Rule 13.24 requirement for operations and assets under the Listing Rules," Lawrence Lee said. "We are very pleased to have been able to draw on our strong regulatory compliance capabilities and industry knowledge, and to assist our client in amply demonstrating their fulfilment of all resumption conditions and successfully resuming trading of its shares. We would also like to thank the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for their guidance and assistance along the process."