Ex-Serial chief's alleged takeover plan exposed

Serial System has released what it said were extracts from the diary of its former CEO Eddie Chng, as well as his email, as evidence that Chng had planned to take over the company since last October.

SINGAPORE--Serial System has released what it said were extracts from the diary of its former CEO Eddie Chng, as well as his email, as evidence that Chng had planned to take over the company since last October.

Serial chairman Derek Goh presented the alleged extracts at a media briefing after the company's AGM. The alleged evidence included email to miority shareholder Avnet Inc, persuading the US-based company to sell its shares to parties acting in concert with Chng.

Serial said that it had decided to "investigate" the contents of Chng's email and his private diary after learning that Chng had instructed his secretary to delete his email and destroy the diary.

Serial COO Chin Yeow Hon said that the company thought "something sensitive may be concealed", and trawled through its email server for Chng's email messages, The Business Times said. It was not revealed how they acquired his diary.

Chng was ousted from the company in February by a no-confidence vote, and an unpleasant battle ensued, with Avnet selling 3.93 percent of the company to a mystery buyer, who turned out to be a friend of Chng's. When it was discovered that Chng had helped raise the funds to buy the shares, he was ordered to make a general offer for the company, as he had breached the mandatory takeover mark of 25 percent ownership.

He failed to raise the requisite funds--about S$140 million--and has been ordered to compensate shareholders.