Archive for February, 2009

Tongxin International begins production on 17 new contracts and introduces new model

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Tongxin International Ltd., a China-based and BVI-registered manufacturer of engineered vehicle body structures (EVBS), announced the edition of 17 new manufacturing contracts for customers in Hubei, Fujian, Nanjing, Guangzi, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces. Over the past year, Tongxin International has been focused on expanding its product offerings to its customer base in 20 provinces of China. The company estimated the EVBS market size in China to be $19 billion in 2007 – including vehicle bodies for commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Tongxin has introduced five new models to 17 commercial vehicle manufacturers in China.

The BVI company has also begun shipping its new model to its long-standing China-based customer who has initiated a joint-venture manufacturing platform in the Middle East market. The joint venture has an estimated demand of 3,400 – 5,000 units a year in the Middle East. Tongxin has been working to secure the Middle East contract since September 2008, when the company first shipped out pre-production parts to the manufacturer for testing and design approvals. The  value of the segment in 2008 was $520 million for Chinese joint ventures and domestic manufacturers.

Both these projects probably will bring Tongxin $6 million to $12 million in revenues in 2009.

Gottschalks loses deal with BVI-based Everbright and files for bankruptcy

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Gottschalks Inc., the regional department store chain headquartered in Fresno, California, announced that it filed to reorganize under bankruptcy protection, and said that it will pursue the possibility of company’s sale or another transaction. Now Gottschalks is seeking permission for the court to conduct an auction of the company around March 17.

In November 2008, the company had reached an agreement with British Virgin Islands-registered corporation Everbright Development Overseas Ltd., providing financial and logistical services for US-China merchants and manufacturers. The BVI company was going to invest up to $30 million in Gottschalks Inc. – for the exchange of about 29% of Gottschalk’s common stock. As a result of the deal, Everbright would have owned 75% of company’s common stock. However a month ago this deal fell through on Everbright’s initiative, although Gottschalks remained in discussions with Everbright, as well as with another party. According to some sources, this was El Corte Ingles, Spain’s largest department store retailer which owns about a 16% stake in the California retail chain. Gottschalks could not be reached for comments to prove this information.

In the continuing economy downturn, failing of the purchase agreement with the BVI-registered Everbright became one of the reasons of Gottschalks’ falling down. Now the shares of the company fell 39%.

Gottschalks, which operates 58 department stores and three specialty apparel stores in the western United States, hopes to continue conducting business as usual without interruption while reorganizing and trying to find a third-party investor or sell the business.

Malaysian IGDX launches gold trading platform on the basis of BVI company

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Malaysia-based gold trading company IGDX, listed in Australia, and private company Ryefield Holdings start the trading platform Goldzone Investments, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. IGDX-controlled EDS Software Solutions will own 70% of Goldzone, and Ryefield will hold the  remaining 30%. The BVI company will be managed by IGDX subsidiary, and Ryefield will assist in establishing counterparty agreements, especially in Indonesia.

By IGDX estimates, annual revenues of the BVI company will make $USD 9 million. The trading platform is designed to allow customers to go long and short in electronic and pit gold markets. It will be trialled in Indonesia. IGDX considers that the Goldzone platform’s popularity will grow due to the financial crisis, because more and more traders prefer to invest in gold, and gold price is rising.

However, there is a possibility that IGDX will go through insolvency procedure. Having announced the launch of Goldzone, it sent a letter to the ASX stock exchange with the report about whether the company’s cash flows would allow it to trade for another two quarters of the year. The Malaysian company was listed in early 2007, and since that time and until launching a new financial market its only businesses have been a HK-based gold coin dealing, and a business in Malaysia.

UTi Worldwide names new CEO

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

US-based and British Virgin Islands-domiciled UTi Worlwdide Inc. named the new CEO to join the company in this post about January 19. The NASDAQ listed BVI company hired an executive of another supply-chain company, Eric W. Kirchner, who succeeds Roger I. MacFarlane – one of company’s founders.

Previously Kirchner was president of freight forwarding at UPS Supply Chain Solutions, which he joined in 2004 when it bought Menlo Worldwide Forwarding Inc. He had been chief operating officer at Menlo.

The person who previously was in this post, MacFarlane, will stay in a transition through April and then retire as an employee, also staying on the board as non-executive chairman. The current non-executive chairman, Tiger Wessels, will stay on the board.