China's Yingde says CEO resigns, will remain as director

HONG KONG, March 6 (Reuters) - Yingde Gases Group Co Ltd

said on Monday Chief Executive He Yuanping has

resigned and will remain a director of the company until the

completion of a strategic review that may result in the sale of

one of China's largest industrial gases firms.

He stepped down "due to his personal work commitments,"

Yingde said in a securities filing without providing further

details. The company, which had revealed He's plans to resign in

a Feb. 21 filing, said its board will look for a new CEO and

make an announcement in due course.

The company has been involved in a takeover battle in recent

months rarely seen in Hong Kong, with the latest twist taking

place last week when Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG

agreed to buy the combined 42.1 percent stake of co-founders

Zhao Xiangti, Sun Zhongguo and Trevor Strutt for $616 million.

Sun and Strutt, previously the Chairman/CEO and chief

operating officer of Yingde, respectively, were relieved from

their posts during a November board meeting that named Zhao

chairman of the company and have since been in a legal fight to

be reinstated.

U.S. industrial gas maker Air Products in late

December made a takeover approach of as much as $1.5 billion in

cash for Yingde.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto)