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CEC International Holdings, the owner of a successful Hong Kong retail chain focused on snacks and drinks imported from across Asia, saw its share price more than double in value on Monday following the death of its founder and chief executive.

The company’s Hong Kong-listed stock rose as much as 123.7 per cent to HK$1.04 ($0.13) per share before paring gains to be up 106.5 per cent on the day after the company announced on Sunday that Lam Wai Chun, also its managing director, had died in hospital on Saturday aged 60.

The jump also came after the chair of retailer Best Mart 360 told local newspaper Apple Daily he was interested in acquiring CEC for less than HK$1bn. Monday’s jump took CEC’s market capitalisation to HK$1.27bn.

CEC’s main retail chain, 759 Store, successfully carved out a niche for itself in Hong Kong’s tycoon-dominated market following its 2010 debut by selling imported snacks and drinks from Japan and South Korea at prices lower than those seen at grocery chains run by the territory’s top conglomerates.

The company made headlines in 2011 by refusing to raise its price for Coca-Cola in line with demands from local supplier Swire, which Mr Lam told local media ultimately led to Swire halting supplies of all beverages to his stores.

“I would like only to benefit residents and believe in a free market. How is that wrong?” Mr Lam said at the time, according to the South China Morning Post.

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