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Leopard Capital subsidiary responds to Nautisco article

Dear Editor,

We refer to your article ”Leopard’s Fishy Business” (Post, 17/4).

The private equity group Leopard Cambodia Fund, through its subsidiary Nautisco (HK) Ltd, is a minority shareholder in the Nautisco Seafood Manufacturing shrimp business, providing funding with some control rights and one of four board votes.

The majority shareholder, Nautisco Inc, was in charge of management , appointing the chairman, CEO and chief operating officer and leading all operations.

Sadly, the business failed, partly for reasons you describe. That is a risk any greenfield investor must accept. The responsibility lies with management, not the financiers.

A very detailed shareholders’ agreement is in place that Leopard has honoured well beyond the call of duty.

Company funding and loan security was approved by the Nautisco board. There can be no valid board decision without the vote of the majority shareholder representatives.

The new seafood venture, Chenla Seafood, is fully independent of Nautisco and, as of today, uses no machinery, no former staff and no inventory of Nautisco.

Chenla is a new investment in line with the positive view of Leopard on a seafood industry in Cambodia. We welcomed any new partner, including our other shareholder, Nautisco Inc.

The more disturbing aspect of your article is that you quote confidential board minutes, board memos and draft accounts without validation and out of context. The draft accounts were never signed by the board, and are therefore misleading.

In the pursuit of objective reporting, you should restrict yourselves to what can be published without breaching legally protected confidentiality.

The board of directors
Nautisco (HK) Ltd  

The Post would like to reiterate that Leopard Capital was given the chance to comment for the story in question, but chose not to. The Post’s management stands by its reporters, and their reporting.

Send letters to: newsroom@phnompenhpost.com or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s.

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