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Ting Hsin reportedly wants to cut Wei Chuan loose

2014/10/14 18:16:11

Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) Ting Hsin International Group reportedly is assessing whether to let go of Wei Chuan Foods Corp., its most conspicuous subsidiary, to help the food company recover from the widespread negative publicity over the group's central role in a series of recent food scares.

As of September, Ting Hsin held a 40.4 percent share in Wei Chuan's stocks, while the biggest institutional shareholder was HSBC with a 9.2 percent stake.

Ting Hsin reportedly is considering selling its entire stake in Wei Chuan, a food brand that has been in business in Taiwan for six decades, and allowing a new management team to take charge.

The stock sale would prevent Wei Chuan from going under amid a widespread consumer boycott of its products, and would allow the staff to keep their jobs, according to the report.

In September, Wei Chuan was forced to recall several of its oil products after it was found that they contained oil recycled from kitchen waste or extracted from industrial grease.

It was also discovered recently that Chen I Food Co., another subsidiary of Ting Hsin, had been selling 68 lard-based edible oils containing oil meant for use in animal feed and that Wei Chuan had used some of those oils in products sold under its own brand.

Reeently, outraged Taiwan consumers have been boycotting all products made by companies in the Ting Hsin Group.

A worker surnamed Tsai who has been employed at Wei Chuan for 27 years said the company has been victimized since late last year after it apologized for selling cooking oil products labeled as "pure" but were found to have been adulterated with substandard oil.

He said Wei Chuan has been tainted by the food scare because its chairman Wei Ying-chung also heads Cheng I Food Co. and Ting Hsin Oil & Fat Industrial Co., two companies that also have been implicated in the substandard cooking oil issue.

Wei resigned as chairman of all three companies last week.

Tsai said those guilty of wrongdoing should be held responsible for their actions, but the 6,000 workers at Wei Chuan have done nothing wrong and therefore should not be penalized.

(By Han Ting-ting and Lilian Wu)
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Related stories:
●Oct. 14: Over 100,000 restaurateurs join boycott of Ting Hsin group
●Oct. 14: Workers at Wei Chuan implore public not to boycott products
●Oct. 11: Boycott of Ting Hsin products gains further momentum