A win for Donaco in Cambodia

By Charlotte Lee Updated
Donaco hopeful of swift rebound as restrictions ease

Asian casino operator Donaco International said in a Wednesday filing that it had won the final stage of a court process in Cambodia linked to a long-running dispute over its Cambodian operation.

The dispute in question was with a Thai party that sold it the rights to run the Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet, a town on the Cambodia-Thailand border.

The casino firm has also been pursuing legal remedies against the Thai party via processes in Singapore and Australia, according to GGR Asia.

Donaco claimed in its latest filing on the matter – made to the Australian Securities Exchange – that the Thai vendor of the Star Vegas business had “conducted a campaign of legal harassment against the company” in Cambodia.

Donaco stated: “In particular, the Thai vendor has made two attempts in lower courts to seize various assets of the Star Vegas business, purportedly as security for the vendor’s claim for the financial year 2017 management fee.”

The effort involved attempts to freeze the Cambodian bank account of the Star Vegas business said Donaco.

It added the Thai vendor’s “attempts to seize assets were rejected by the lower courts” in Cambodia on July 6, 2018 and January 10, 2019.

“The Thai vendors appealed the second ruling to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh. The Appeal Court has now ruled in Donaco’s favour, and once again rejected the vendor’s claims. There is no further appeal in this matter,” the firm said in its Wednesday filing.

The Appeal Court was the same court that would rule “in due course” on the company’s appeal against what Donaco termed the “Cambodian lease arbitration decision.”

Last month, Donaco said it would put to a vote at its annual general meeting on November 29 an attempt by two people – Gerald Tan Eng Hoe and Patrick Tan Teck Lee – to remove all the current directors and replace them with the duo and three other named people.

Lim brothers ousted from Donaco

In July, shareholders of Donaco International got together to determine whether or not Joey Lim and Ben Lim, often referred to as the Lim Brothers, should retain their spots on the company’s board.

After a short vote that saw substantial input, the Lim brothers have been forced to give up their sports and are now virtually removed completely from anything related to Donaco, Calvin Ayre reports.

In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange, Donaco acknowledged that the duo had been ousted after 90 per cent of the voting shareholders agreed to have them give their seats back.

It brings to a close a long battle between the two and company investors over concerns of how the company was being managed.

Joey Lim is the founder and former managing director, as well as former CEO of the company.

He was forced out of the top spots in March when the company’s investors relieved him of his duties.

Ben Lim then stepped in as interim CEO until Paul Arbuckle was appointed new CEO in June.

The removal rom the board follows a call by the Spenceley Family Trust and Family Superannuation, represented by trustee Spenceley Management, called for the extraordinary general meeting along with shareholder Antonia Carolina Callopy.

The three entities control 5.04 per cent of the company and had entered the resolution to vote on the issue of the Lim brothers’ places on the board when the meeting was announced last month.

James Spenceley owns directly, or through entities owned by him, around 4.68 per cent of Donaco’s shares.

He has been vocal in wanting to have the brothers out, asserting that it was in the best interest of the company and that it would allow Donaco to gain investor confidence. Spenceley is also the chairman of the board of Silver Heritage Group.

Who will fill the two spots on the board has not yet been announced.

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