Southeast Asian tycoons battle over failed TV venture
Posted on July 24, 2012, Tuesday
SINGAPORE: Two of Southeast Asia’s biggest tycoons, Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia and James Riady of Indonesia, faced off in a Singapore court yesterday over a failed pay-television venture in Indonesia.
At the centre of the case is a US$300 million sum that three firms under Riady’s Lippo Group were ordered to pay eight companies from Krishnan’s Astro communications empire by a Singapore arbitration centre in 2010.
Lippo is contesting the arbitration award on the grounds that three of the eight Astro companies were not part of the original agreement to launch the Indonesian venture, PT Direct Vision, which failed to take off.
“It is respectfully submitted that the award should not be recognised or enforced in Singapore,” Toby Landau, a senior British lawyer engaged by Lippo told the court.
The legal battle between the two tycoons is shaping up to be a drawn-out, acrimonious affair as similar cases have been filed in courts in Hong Kong, Malaysia and London. Riady is the deputy chairman of Lippo Group, a conglomerate with assets in media and financial services, and the son of the firm’s founder Mochtar Riady.
The elder Riady is estimated by Forbes business magazine to be worth US$650 million, making him Indonesia’s 38th richest man in a list.
Up against him is Astro’s Krishnan, Malaysia’s second-richest man with a net worth of US$9.9 billion as of March 2012, according to Forbes. He has interests in communications, broadcasting and oil and gas.
Astro’s lawyers are scheduled to present their case today. — AFP