Hong Kong-listed International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) has undergone a board shake-up, with Lam Yat Ming and Ren Yunan both stepping down at a board meeting on Friday and Zhang Yan Min appointed new CEO.
In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday, IEC announced that Zhang, 62, had been confirmed as CEO, with the company currently looking to diversify its business after recently revealing losses of K$67.3 million for the year ended 31 March 2018.
Zhang, an executive director with IEC since May 2017, has more than 28 years of experience in commercial development, investment and business management, the company said, including stints as general manager of Lloyd’s Register Industrial Technical Services (Shanghai) Co, Ltd from 2011 to 2016 and as country manager of SABIC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd from 2002 to 2008.
Also joining the board as an executive director is Chan Chun Yiu Thomas, the group general counsel of the company since February 2017.
IEC currently earns the bulk of its revenue via the leasing of properties in the Philippines to local gaming regulator PAGCOR, with monthly rental income determined on an agreed percentage of net gaming revenue generated from gaming areas.
However, since being acquired by Brighten Path Ltd last year – a company controlled by Hong Kong businessman and well-known high stakes poker pro Stanley Choi – IEC has made significant efforts to broaden its interests.
Most notable is the planned acquisition of Wigan Athletic Holdings Limited, which runs English Championship side Wigan Athletic Football Club and its home ground, DW Stadium.
IEC has also signed a cooperation agreement with The Stars Group, owner of the world’s dominant online poker site PokerStars, that saw it gain exclusive rights to operate PokerStars-branded poker rooms and run live PokerStars events in a number of Asian countries including Macau, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Japan and Cambodia.
In its 2018 results announcement, IEC said that it will “actively diversify its business portfolio whilst making efforts to expand its current business.
“The group believes that the deployment of expanding its entertainment and sports related businesses will broaden its source of income and create synergies among the group’s businesses,” the company said.