China Ceramics Starts New Life as Antelope Enterprise

The company is expanding in fintech and business management after the tile business has taken a hit.
Anna VodOct 15,2020,16:42

China Ceramics Co. Ltd., formerly listed under the ticker “CCCL,” on Thursday began trading under its new name and symbol: Antelope Enterprise Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: AEHL).

The troubled and diversifying maker of ceramic tiles in China said in a statement Wednesday that the name change marks the company’s transition to computer consulting and fintech software development. It also plans changes to its core building materials business, it added.

Shares in AEHL traded 4.5% lower intraday Thursday, at $2.31 apiece. However, the stock history of the former China Ceramics will be cut off here, as AEHL also trades under a new CUSIP number, G041JN106.

New Symbol, Same Old Troubles?

For investors, the new symbol and new focus might not mean the company's troubles are over. China Ceramics has had a tough few years. Listed since December 2007, the Jinjiang-based company has periodically struggled to maintain compliance with listing requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Most recently, it regained compliance with the minimum bid requirement in September after effectuating a three-for-one reverse stock split. Not the first time, its history of reverse stock splits goes way back. So do its issues with the Nasdaq, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and law firms.

Legal Woes

About six years ago, China Ceramics was hit with a shareholder lawsuit. A number of U.S. law firms went after the Chinese tile maker on allegations that it “misrepresented or failed to disclose material weakness in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and the risk of writedowns of its assets,” Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP wrote in a statement at the time.

Further, the statement reads, “On November 13, 2013, the Company announced its financial results for third quarter 2013, and disclosed a substantial asset writedown of property, plant and equipment. Then, on May 1, 2014, NASDAQ announced a halt in trading of the common shares of China Ceramics pending 'additional information requested.' Also on May 1, 2014, the Company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a notification of the Company’s inability to timely file its annual report with the SEC for the year ended December 31, 2013."

In mid-2016, China Ceramics announced the settlement of the class action lawsuit. It was to pay $850,000 in a combination of cash and common shares.

In September 2019, CCCL stock was also affected by Washington’s decision to impose duties of up to 222% on Chinese tile imports. The U.S. Commerce Department did this after review of a petition by eight U.S. tile producers, as reported by Reuters at the time. In 2018, tile imports to U.S. from China were $483.1 million. On its website, China Ceramics says it distributes 75 of its products overseas.

China Ceramics’ business has also been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. For the first half-year of 2020, the company reported revenues of $5.6 million, as compared to $26.2 million in the first six months of 2019. Net loss, however, narrowed to $15.8 million from $28.5 million year-over-year. Loss per share was $5.77, according to the report.

In the same report, released in late September, China Ceramics said it launched new subsidiaries in the high technology sector for business management and consulting, as well as fintech solutions such as the development of blockchain software.

In a statement on Wednesday announcing the company’s name change, chief executive Meishuang Huang said, “With the continued development and transformation of the Company's commercial focus, our Board concluded that it is in the best interest of the Company to change our name to reflect our change in strategy and branding."

Topics:cccl, aehl