VDM Group shareholders have overwhelmingly backed handing control to Chinese investors in a sea-change development for the struggling contractor.
A meeting yesterday endorsed handing a 42 per cent stake to H&H Holdings Australia, led by former CITIC Pacific Mining chief executive Dongyi Hua. Nearly 99 per cent of shareholder votes were in favour of the move.
H&H paid $15 million for newly issued shares at 2.5ï¿½ each, a premium to yesterday's closing price of 1.9ï¿½.
The investment follows a two-year battle for survival by VDM, which raised $35 million from investors at 5ï¿½ a share in 2011 and sold off subsidiaries and properties to avoid collapse.
"It's a great move for shareholders and underwrites the future of the business," outgoing managing director Andrew Broad said. Mr Hua will take over as managing director of the engineering and construction company next week.
Chairman Michael Perrott yesterday said Mr Broad would no longer be a director but continue as a senior executive at VDM.
Mr Broad said his ongoing role was uncertain and would depend on whether he could add value to the business."The moment I don't think I'm doing that, I'll be the first one to put the hand up and say it's not the right thing," he said.