June 16, 2008

Shock move by FHL board

Shock move by FHL board

www.sun.com.fj - 6/15/2008

A veil of secrecy surrounds the future of a Fijian investment company's board and managing director.
Fijian Holdings Limited managing director Sitiveni Weleilakeba and some of the board of directors are understood to have resigned following a board meeting last Friday.

Mr Weleilakeba could not be reached for a comment last night. His partner Laisa Digitaki said yesterday Mr Weleilakeba would not be making any comment to the media as yet.

In his capacity as FHL's managing director, he is also chairman of this newspaper's board of directors.

Those who have resigned include chairman Joe Mar, group managing director Mr Weleilakeba, directors Tui Maleikai, Mohammed Asif Razak and Ioane Naiveli.

Those who remain on the board include Ulaiasi Baya, Isoa Kaloumaira and Robin Storck who now becomes the chairman.

Mr Storck said he was not aware of the reasons behind the resignations of the other board members.

“From what I know, they resigned voluntarily and only they know the reason for their resigning,” said Mr Storck.

He said the new changes were in the best interest of the company and the decision was made by B Class shareholders. Newly appointed to the board are businessman Padam Lala, Basic Industries chief executive officer Sereana Qoro and Fiji Military Force acting chief of staff Colonel Mohammed Aziz.

No comments could be obtained from them regarding the appointments.

Ms Qoro is tipped to replace Mr Weleilakeba as the group managing director. Colonel Aziz was appointed deputy board chairman.

No confirmation could be obtained from board members on the reasons for their resignation.

Fijian Holdings Limited is an equity investment company. The company's subsidiaries include Basic Industries Limited, Blue Lagoon Cruises Holdings Limited, Clariti (South Pacific) Limited, FHL Securities Limited, Fijian Property Trust Company Limited, Fiji Industries Limited, Fijian Holdings Trust Management Limited and Merchant Finance and Investment Company Limited.

Former company executive Laisenia Qarase declined to comment on the changes to the FHL board.

The new board is expected to release a media statement on Tuesday to inform the company shareholders on the changes.

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