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.