Chairwoman of Camsing, Hong Kong Group that Owns Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment, Arrested in China
The detainment of Camsing's founder Lo Ching by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau erased $800 million from the company's market capitalization as soon as shares began trading Monday.
Camsing International, the Hong Kong firm that owns Marvel visionary Stan Lee's former company POW! Entertainment, saw its shares crash 90 percent on Monday after it emerged that its chairwoman had been arrested in China.
Camsing alerted the Hong Kong stock exchange late Friday that company founder Lo Ching, 47, was “currently being held in criminal custody” by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. The company didn't supply a reason for Lo’s detention.
"To the best information, knowledge and belief of the board, as at the date of this announcement, the directors are unable to ascertain the reasons of, or incidents leading to, the criminal custody of Ms Lo," the statement said. According to Camsing's most recent interim report, Lo owned almost two-third of Camsing’s issued share capital. The company insisted in its Friday statement that her detention had not disrupted its day-to-day operations so far.
Investors reacted swiftly when the Hong Kong exchange opened Monday, sending shares crashing 90 percent, before a slight recovery to about 86 percent down. The crashed erased about $700 million from Camsing’s market capitalization, which now stands at just over $80 million, according to the Financial Times.
Camsing operates various business lines in the media and entertainment sector, including a theme park in southern China, mobile gaming and a merchandise business that sells branded products based on Hollywood IP, such as Transformers and Kung Fu Panda. The company acquired Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment for an undisclosed sum in 2017 and has been developing various film and television projects based on the late Marvel maestro's original characters. Last October, Camsing held a three-day Comic-Con-like event named "Stan Lee Comic Universe Shanghai."
Lo is also chairwoman of Jiangsu Boxin Investing & Holdings Co., a southern Chinese company involved in the construction industry and industrial investments. That firm's shares took a wild ride on the Shanghai stock exchange Monday, falling by the 10 percent daily limit in the morning, before rising by the 10 percent limit in afternoon trading.
Jiangsu Boxin told the Shanghai exchange that Lo was taken into custody June 20, while its chief financial officer Jiang Shaoyang was detained June 25. A Chinese court has frozen Lo's holdings in Jiangsu Boxin — shares amounting to a stake of about 28.4 percent — for three years as of July 1, the company said in a separate statement. The company did not share a reason for the arrests.
POW! Entertainment released the following statement Monday in response to the news of Lo's arrest:
“Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment is one of many subsidiaries of Camsing International Holdings. We have been and will continue to be an independent operating unit with a separate and autonomous US-based management team. The news today is disturbing to us but will in no way impede our single-minded dedication to our mission as the guardian of the legacy of our founder Stan Lee, the greatest storyteller of our time. POW! will continue along with creative partners on its many existing and future projects to assure the memory and artistry of Stan Lee will live on for generations to come.”