Shareholders foil Hong Kong tycoon Li's $12.4 billion deal

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Shareholders have voted against Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's $12.4 billion proposal to combine his infrastructure and utility companies.

The vote, which was announced late Tuesday, deals a setback to the billionaire's plan to reshuffle his business empire in order to accelerate its overseas expansion.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure said about half of minority shareholders voted for the plan, far less than the 75 percent needed.

The company was offering to swap new stock for all of the shares of Power Assets it didn't yet own.

The deal faced opposition from two influential activist shareholder groups that didn't believe it offered enough value.

It's a rare defeat for Li, who's revered by many in Hong Kong for his business acumen that's made him one of Asia's richest people.