Frankly Speaking: Undergarment maker in a twist

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 20, 2022 - June 26, 2022.
Frankly Speaking: Undergarment maker in a twist
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Loss-making lingerie maker Caely Holdings Bhd seems to be in a bind, with a number of issues and strange incidents cropping up in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the company announced the appointment of 36-year-old fashion designer Datuk Jovian Mandagie as executive vice-chairman (EVC), which was quite a coup as he is, after all, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

However, three days later, Caely announced to Bursa Malaysia that Jovian had withdrawn as a director, citing miscommunication to his appointment. In a separate press release, Jovian alleged that Caely had made a false announcement to Bursa.

“I did not agree to accept the appointment as the EVC of Caely ... Therefore, I hereby state that the announcement made by Caely in relation to my appointment is false, untrue and misleading to the public.”

How something like this could have transpired is anyone’s guess.

There was also an announcement, clarifying reports that nine directors of Caely have been removed, noting that the reports “were made without proper verification”.

However, the clincher was possibly when the company announced that counter fraud and cyber forensics consultancy services outfit Virdos Lima, which was undertaking a forensic investigation at Caely (M) Sdn Bhd — the company’s main operating arm — could not continue with its investigation “as critical information was not available”.

Virdos Lima explained that invoices, payment vouchers, receipts and agreements could not be located and various company electronic devices containing key electronically stored information were also missing.

Since April, Caely’s operating bank accounts have been frozen, there have been a slew of changes at the board and a colourful character with a chequered past has surfaced as a substantial shareholder, as the tussle to control the company rages on.

At the time of writing, Caely had lost some 37% of its market capitalisation since early April. So just who is behind these key pieces of information invoices: payment vouchers, receipts and agreements and also the electric devices not being available to Virdos Lima? Will the minority shareholders be left to bear the brunt of the losses? Should the regulator intervene in the affairs of Caely?

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