Yingde Gases executives step down after PAG deal accepted

HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - Yingde Gases said

its CEO and chief operating officer have resigned, giving Hong

Kong-based private equity firm PAG a clean slate to manage the

company after its acquisition of a controlling stake in China's

largest industrial gases company.

Chief Executive Sun Zhongguo and COO Trevor Strutt stepped

down after a board meeting on April 20 as a result of PAG

becoming Yingde's controlling shareholder, the company said in a

securities filing on Thursday.

Qiu Zhongwei, a PAG managing director and former dealmaker

with Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, was named

chairman and CEO, the company added.

Yingde shares were little changed, down 0.2 percent in early

trading, compared with a 0.5 percent gain in the benchmark Hang

Seng index.

In a key move to win control of Yingde, PAG signed an

agreement with co-founders Zhao Xiangti, Sun and Strutt to buy

their combined 42.1 percent stake for $616 million.

As part of the deal, PAG also offered to buy out all

outstanding stock in Yingde, with the private equity firm owning

90.9 percent of the shares as of April 20, the company said. PAG

extended its HK$6 per share offer, which was set to expire April

20, to May 4.

Yingde Gases reported last week a net loss of 143 million

yuan ($20.8 million) in 2016, hurt by impairment losses on

plant, equipment and construction in progress, compared with 536

million yuan profit in 2015.

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree and Elzio Barreto; Editing by

Edwina Gibbs)