London Biscuits’ CFO and director both resigned just 2 weeks after joining the Malaysian company – and they’re not the only ones leaving

London Biscuits also defaulted on a RM9.83 million (US$2.37 million) debt to Bank of Nova Scotia Bhd.
London Biscuits Berhad

*This article was updated at 1:45pm on July 9.

The Malaysian company famous for making cakes with “a taste of London” has been thrown in the spotlight, after two of its executives resigned just two weeks after being appointed.

Not only that, two other people – its chairman, Datuk Seri Liew Kuek Hin, and one of its non-executive directors, Leslie Looi Meng – have also quit their positions.

In filings to Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday (July 3), London Biscuits said that its executive director Datuk Ranjeet Singh Sidhu and its chief financial officer Loo Seng Kit had voluntarily resigned. Both had taken on their roles only on June 17, according to announcements published on the Bursa Malaysia website.

80-year-old Liew Kuek Hin resigned citing health reasons, while Leslie Looi Meng was leaving after 14 years due to professional work commitments.

According to The Edge Malaysia, Liew controls 21.73 per cent of the group via private unit Meileelanusa Sdn Bhd. He had been with the company for 26 years, The Edge said.

To make matters more complicated, London Biscuits also said on July 3 that it had defaulted on a RM9.83 million (US$2.37 million) debt to Bank of Nova Scotia Bhd.

It said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that its failure to pay was “due to cashflow constraint”. It added that it was “engaging active dialogue session with the solicitors of [Bank of Nova Scotia] on this matter, and intends to submit a comprehensive proposal to restructure the loan facility”.

On Friday, the company said in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia that it could not meet repayment obligation in the immediate term, adding that “the Board is of the opinion that the company may not be solvent”.

Three days later, on Monday (July 8), London Biscuits updated in a fresh filing with Bursa Malaysia that it was now a PN17 company due to the payment default.

According to KL Management Services, PN17 refers to companies that are in financial distress. “Companies that fall within the definition of PN17 will need to submit their proposal to the Approving Authority to restructure and revive the company in order to maintain the listing status,” the accounting and management firm said.

A PN17 company will need to comply with certain requirements set by Bursa Malaysia or risk being suspended in trading list securities or de-listed from the market, the article published on KL Management Services’ website said.

According to The Star, London Biscuits Bhd lost more than 10 per cent in early trade on Monday.