Missing CEO

A Chinese Riddle

awol ceo bloomberg
AWOL CEO. Guo Guangchang, the founder of Chinese investment group Fosun, disappeared last week in a possible government anti-corruption sweep. The development has unsettled Germany's banking sector, where Fosun is bidding for private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The disappearance of Chinese billionaire and Fosun CEO Guo Guangchang could upend his company’s bid to acquire German private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Chinese police reportedly detained Guo Gaungchang on Thursday, but it’s unclear whether he’s being held as a suspect or a witness.
    • Mr. Guo currently ranks 11th on the Forbes list of the richest people in China, with a net worth of $6.3 billion.
    • In 2015, Fosun announced 16 takeovers worth a combined $4.5 billion.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Guo Guangchang, the chief executive of Fosun and one of China’s wealthiest men, has disappeared.

Many fear he has been caught up in China’s anti-corruption dragnet. Now Germany’s banking sector is waiting with baited breath to see what this means for Fosun’s takeover bids for two German banks.

Guo Guangchang is a star – and something of an oddity on China’s finance scene.

From a poor background, he managed to get into Fudan University, an elite school, where he studied philosophy. He then used money he had saved up to study abroad to start a company instead, Fosun.

Today Fosun is one of China’s biggest private companies and the 48-year-old billionaire is expanding his empire worldwide, one hostile takeover at a time.

But now the wiry man with the gap-tooth smile has disappeared. Reliable information is scarce, but there is evidence suggesting that Mr. Guo has fallen into a web of corruption investigations that are shaking China’s business world.

The shockwaves have spread as far as Germany, where Mr. Guo has a share in fashion brand Tom Tailor, and where his company is on the verge of swallowing private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser.

According to Chinese business magazine Caixin, the mystery began with a media report that Fosun had lost contact with its chairman.

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