Dynasty Fine Wines, the embattled Chinese winery, has resumed trading in Hong Kong on July 29 after more than six years of stock suspension, following investigations of falsifying records and selling spoiled wines in 2013.
Its first day of trading, however, was met with nearly 50% drop in stock value and its stock price had fallen to HK$0.75 by the afternoon.
Dynasty, the joint Sino-French venture between Remy Cointreau and Chinese government, was founded in 1980 and was once hailed as the poster boy for foreign invested companies in wine production when China opened up its economy.
This was years before LVMH, Pernod Ricard or DBR Lafite forayed into China’s lucrative wine market to produce Chinese wines for the growing number of domestic wine drinkers.
For a long time, the winery ranked as China’s third biggest wine producer by volume after Changyu Pioneer Wine and GreatWall Winery. It went on to become a listed company in Hong Kong in 2005.
At its height in 2010, Dynasty was voted as the second most valuable wine brand in China only after GreatWall by China Association for Liquor & Spirits Circulation and China Brand Institute.
As the country’s appetite for imported wines grows, Dynasty’s luck ran out.
Its sales has been slumping since 2011. Its company turnover dropped from RMB 1.172 billion (US$170.2 million) to roughly RMB 302 (US$43.8 million) in 2018, as shown in its latest financial report, a combined result of six-year trading suspension, fierce market competition and what the company calls “chaotic business management”.
Speaking of the decline in 2018, the company attributed unsatisfactory sales performance in the nationwide supermarket channel, a main off-trade channels of the company, as a leading cause.
Its ordeal began in 2013 when Dynasty’s stock was suspended on Hong Kong Stock Exchange after its auditors had received received “anonymous allegations” regarding various aspects of its sales and inventory management including faking invoicing, selling out of condition wines and among others.
The company then appointed legal council and auditing firm Ernst & Young to investigate the allegations.
According to the company, after the investigation, it has decided that no legal action shall be taken against the executives from the previous management.