Dr. Sena Yaddehige has been elected the new
Chairman of Richard Pieris & Co. Ltd. by its board of directors
last week, company sources said.
Yaddehige succeeds Mr. Henry A. Pieris, son of
the late Mr. Richard Pieris, who founded the company decades
ago. The Pieris family’s stake in Richard Pieris as well as
other large blocks of the company’s shares was acquired by
Yaddehige and related parties in a hard-fought take over several
Although there was a complaint to that effect,
it was not established that Yaddehige had acted in concert with
some foreign funds triggering the Securities and Exchange
Commission’s mandatory offer provisions.
Richard Pieris and Asia Capital had strategic
cross-holdings in each other. Yaddehige is now chairman of Asia
Capital who’s CEO at the time that Richard Pieris’ control hands
was connected by marriage to the Pieris family.
Some of the major shareholders of Richard Pieris
including John Keells Holdings and Mr. Sohli Captain sold out of
the company and Yaddehige and related interests bought these
shares. Despite stiff resistance led by Mr. Ian Pieris, then
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director/CEO of the group,
Yaddehige succeeded in acquiring control.
Mr. Henry Pieris continued as chairman of the
company under the new dispensation with Yaddehige serving as
deputy chairman and MD/CEO. He retired at the end of last year
and although Yaddehige was widely expected to succeed him, his
election did not happen as soon as expected.
Company sources said that Yaddehige left Sri
Lanka for the UK where he has other interests after last week’s
Richard Pieris is expected to make an
announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange over the election of
the new chairman later this week.
The company recently sold its stake in Dipped
Products Ltd., which has grown into one of the world’s largest
non-medical rubber glove manufacturers, late last year booking a
substantial capital gain.
This, plus a superior performance in plantations
is expected to help Richard Pieris to post an improved
performance in the financial year ended March 31, 2005.