Betex Executives Resign, Cite Travel Concerns in China

25 May 2007

In a note to the London Stock Exchange today, Betex, the Asia-facing lottery and gaming company, announced the resignations of chief executive Peter Greenhill and finance director Stuart Baker.

After two of the company's senior staff were detained by the Chinese authorities in April, the company struggled to secure, but ultimately didn't obtain, "absolute written" assurance guaranteeing unhindered travel for Greenhill and Baker throughout China.

On behalf of Greenhill and Baker, Betex chairman Johnny Hon said that the two felt that, without the requisite travel-related assurances, they couldn't "perform their roles as they would like to, and to the best effect for the company."

The company also announced the resignation of non-executive director Philip Goodmaker.

The names of April's detainees were not featured among the new appointees, and have yet to be released.

Meanwhile, the company has appointed U.K. operations head Jeremy Longley as the new chief operating officer, with company secretary Simon Spector to temporarily assume duties as chief executive.

IGN reported on May 2 that one of the senior staff members was believed to have been detained in his capacity as the legal representative of Beijing Lottery Technology Company (BLTD).

One junior employee of BLTD was also detained, Betex said, together with one of the agents contracted by BLTD to distribute the software product.

Betex said police authorities have restricted access to two BLTD bank accounts connected with the operation of the software product.

Shares in the London-listed company were suspended April 18.