On November 9, Storm Group (now “Storm Retreat”) ushered in its last A-share trading day. 2,057 days have passed since its listing in 2015. By the morning's close, its stock price had dropped 3.45% to 0.28 yuan/share.
Storm Group once set a record of 37 hikes and stops in 40 trading days. Its market capitalization peaked at 40 billion yuan. It brought together many popular concepts and was hailed by the market as “Little LeTV”. Storm Group and its actual controller, Feng Xin, later fell into an abyss due to an overseas merger and acquisition. The company quickly fell, until it was ordered delisted by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on August 28 this year.
LeTV Network was ordered delisted in May of this year, and completed the “closing performance” of A-shares on July 20.
Once created the 10 billion myth
Storm Group was founded by Feng Xin in 2007 and listed on the GEM of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on March 24, 2015. After listing, it set a record of 37 increases and stops in 40 trading days, with the highest stock price exceeding 327 yuan. At the time, Storm Group was a well-known Internet video company in China, and outsiders once called it “Xiaolexi.”
Through the “Storm Video” series of software, the company provides video users with a comprehensive video service that is mainly free to use. In June 2016, Storm Technology, which is already involved in VR, sports and other businesses, changed its name to “Storm Group”. At the same time, the company participated in the investment to establish Storm Sports, holding 19.9% of the shares.
At the time, Storm Group had greater ambitions in the sports industry. In March 2016, Storm Group participated in the investment to establish Buxin Investment. The fund is managed by three companies, including Everbright Investment Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., and Storm Investment, as joint GPs. Buxin Investment raised RMB 5.203 billion, and the company pledged an investment amount of RMB 200 million as a limited partner. Buxin Investment completed the acquisition of 65% of the shares of MP&Silva Holding S.A., a world-renowned sports copyright company, on May 23 of that year.
However, what has happened since then suggests that this copyright acquisition poses a hidden danger to the company. According to media reports, MPS's operations were in trouble and were declared bankrupt and liquidated by the English court in October 2018. As a result, the company and related executives were involved in this merger and acquisition vortex.
On September 3, 2019, Storm Group announced that on the afternoon of September 2, the company learned from information posted on the WeChat account “Shanghai Prosecution” of the Shanghai People's Procuratorate that the Shanghai Jing'an District Procuratorate approved the arrest of Feng Xin, the company's legal representative, on suspicion of bribing non-state workers and embezzlement of duties.
The company has lost a lot of staff
After Feng Xin was taken away, Storm Group's business almost came to a standstill. On July 1 of this year, Storm Group revealed that it is difficult for the company to pay employees' remuneration, and the company continues to lose a large number of personnel. With the exception of Feng Xin, all of the company's senior managers have resigned, and the securities affairs representative who assisted in information disclosure matters has also resigned. Currently, there are only more than 10 people left in the company, and at the same time, there is a situation where some employees' wages are in arrears.
To make matters worse, the disclosure of the company's regular reports was affected. Storm Group said that up to now, the company's current employees are unable to undertake the preparation of 2019 performance forecasts, performance reports, performance forecasts for the first quarter of this year, and reports for the first quarter of this year, and the company is unable to disclose the above reports in accordance with the requirements of relevant rules. As of June 30, the company had yet to hire a chief financial officer and auditor.
The announcement at the time said that if Storm Group still fails to disclose its annual report within one month after the listing was suspended, Shenzhen Stock Exchange Ownership decided to terminate the company's stock listing transaction. If the listing of the company's shares is terminated, it will not be re-listed on the GEM.
In the end, no miracle happened. Storm Group received the “Decision on Termination of the Listing of Storm Group Co., Ltd. Shares” from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on August 28. Starting September 21, the company's stock transactions entered the delisting period. Storm Group experienced 6 downturns since September 21, and November 9 was the last trading day. Currently, the stock price is 0.28 yuan/share. Since its previous peak, Storm Group's market capitalization has almost completely evaporated.
According to Storm Group's 2019 three-quarter report, the company still has more than 60,000 shareholders.
The business continues
Notably, although Storm Group was delisted, its brands and products continue to exist.
On October 9, some netizens logged on to the official website of Storm Video and discovered that the WIN version on the computer was last updated on September 26. On October 10, China Securities Jun logged on to its official website and discovered that the WIN version on the computer was last updated on October 9, and there were two updates within half a month.
The official website also shows that the Android version of the Storm Video app was last updated on September 26, and the iOS version was last updated on September 30. The details of these three versions all include the new launch of VIP members, optimized operation experience, etc.
China Securities discovered that compared to before, Storm Video's current official website has no channel content or official store, and only retains content such as player download tips and VIP member advertisements for various versions. In the current online video market, the membership price of 0.99 yuan/month can be called the “cabbage price”.
In fact, prior to delisting, Storm Group revealed that Storm Video would be operated by Fengxing Online on its behalf. However, many netizens didn't expect Fengxing Online to have this kind of momentum.
Storm Group announced that on February 10 this year, the company and Fengxing Online signed the “Cooperation Agreement between Storm Group Co., Ltd. and Beijing Fengxing Online Technology Co., Ltd.”, “Authorization for Advertising Operation”, “Authorization for Agency Operation”, and “Brand Authorization” in Beijing. The two sides will cooperate in the field of Internet audiovisual services for a period of 15 months.
Storm Group will hand over the legal right to operate the Storm Video App, Storm Video PC Client, and Storm Video advertising system to Fengxing Online for the exclusive operation period of 15 months from the date this agreement was signed, from February 10, 2020 to May 9, 2021. After the contract period expires, if Party A decides to continue to operate the product on its behalf, Party B has the exclusive right to renew the contract.
According to Tianyan survey, the largest shareholder of Fengxing Online is Zhaochi, an A-share listed company, with a shareholding ratio of 66.8%; the second largest shareholder is Oriental Pearl, an A-share listed company, with a shareholding ratio of 16.2%.