Dispute over Yanson bus empire continues, more stockholders’ meetings coming

Published January 27, 2021, 4:50 PM

by James A. Loyola

Feuding factions of the Yanson clan continue engage in courtroom battles over control of the country’s biggest bus conglomerate.

“The legal battle for control of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC) is far from over. Cases and countersuits are still pending before various courts to show the real majority shareholders and to unmask the impostors,” said Atty. Carlo Joaquin Narvasa, counsel for Yanson siblings Roy, Emily, Ricardo, Jr. and Ma. Lourdes Celina Lopez (Y4).

Speaking on behalf of Y4, Narvasa said said in a statement that nothing will change the fact that 61.18 percent of the company’s outstanding capital stock are registered in the names of his clients.

He said this is reflected in the firm’s records at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As such, Narvasa said, Y4 continues to exercise their rights over these shares by holding their own annual shareholders’ meetings and electing company officers as required by law.

In the last two and forthcoming weeks, competing factions of the Yanson family have been holding or will conduct their respective stockholders’ meetings for the following companies:  Vallacar Transit, Inc., Mindanao Star Bus Transport, Inc., Ceres Transport, Inc., Goldstar Bus Transit, Inc. and Rural Transit Mindanao and other affiliates.

For the second consecutive year, the Yanson 4 were elected as directors and officers of various companies comprising YGBC.

On the other hand, their siblings Roy and Ginnete (Y2) and their mother Olivia Yanson, held their own shareholders’ meetings where they were also elected as officers and directors of the same companies.

“It is clear from the foregoing that Y4 continues to assert their majority ownership over these firms. They denounce their siblings’ legal machinations and false claims of full control over the family’s companies when they (Y2) are only minority shareholders,” the lawyer stressed.

The legal feud between opposing camps in the Yanson family stems from disagreements over management control of the sprawling transport and real estate empire after the passing of family patriarch and company founder, Ricardo, Sr.

Y4 claims majority ownership of the companies’ shares as contained in a 2010 Family Constitution as well as subsequent shareholders’ agreements signed by all family members.

Exercising this claim, Y4 voted to remove their brother Leo Rey from his post as company president. But this proved temporary as Y2 regained control of the bus firm without a court order.

Since then, both camps have been conducting their respective Annual Stockholders’ Meetings with each installing their respective directors and corporate officers. Meanwhile, lawsuits and countersuits are currently pending before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court and Court of Appeals in Cebu City.