Morgan Stanley Invests $50 Million in Short-Sale Mark Yongye
(7 juni 2011)
Morgan Stanley agreed to invest $50 million in Yongye International Inc. (YONG), the U.S.-traded producer of plant nutrients in China that is the target of a short seller who says the company has misrepresented its business.
Yongye shares surged 42 percent, the most in more than two years, to $5.33 as of 4 p.m. New York time after Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, said it will invest in Beijing-based Yongye through its Asian private equity unit. The stock, which began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2009 following a 2008 takeover of a U.S. company, is down 37 percent this year.
“After extensive due diligence, we believe Yongye to be an exceptional company that has built significant brand recognition in China’s agriculture industry,” said Homer Sun, managing director of Morgan Stanley (MS) Private Equity Asia, according to a statement released by Yongye. Sun will join the Chinese company’s board of directors, the statement said.
Morgan Stanley is offering a vote of confidence to a company whose stock was down 55 percent in 2011 through last week amid a hedge fund’s accusation that it manipulated earnings. Morgan Stanley will purchase $50 million of preferred shares, which are convertible into common stock at an initial conversion price of $8.80 a share, Yongye said. That amount may increase to $15 a share if the company reaches certain undisclosed profit targets.
Proceeds from the investment will be used to expand capacity, repay debt, add to working capital and for general corporate purposes, the company said.